Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Libra's MMA blog has moved!

Hey fight fans,
we have moved to
http://www. LibraporLibra.com

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Libra gears up for IMMAE

Wednesday night proves to be more than just a "hump" day for Libra, checking camera gear, charging batteries, making lists and checking them twice, this is me gearing up for IMMAE**.
This event is a "bright light" to "moth like" amateur journalists that will be swarming the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend. Why so many "moths" you ask? The venue will lend itself to great interactions with fighters, trainers, and companies marketing their talents and gear alike. This is exactly what fans and media want, a venue where a fighter or entertainer is there with the "intent" to interact with their fans.
Autograph and photo opportunities will be fruitful with MMA Superstars like Tito Ortiz, Tim Sylvia, Sean Sherk, and Joe Stevenson in attendance. For those hardcore MMA radio fans, you can meet the TAGG Radio team and possibly even get on the radio, live! Top MMA Clothing manufacturers will be on hand as well, with names like Tapout, Ecko, and Toe 2 Toe, your MMA gear for 08' is all in one place.
IMMAE will prove to be a success, and although there have been more stable times in MMA*, the recent addition of CBS' Saturday night fights has garnered great numbers of casual viewers. Some of those viewers will translate into more fans, some of which I will meet this weekend. I will catch the pulse of the crowd and pass the beat on to you.

LibraporLibra's MMA will be on location to provide interviews with professional fighters and entertainment personalities, and fill you in on the latest trends and news.

Training Schools in California

California is certainly one of the strongest MMA training areas in the country. California boasts claim to schools like Fairtex, AKA, Team Quest and Gracie Academies. If you have not made it out to an MMA show, do so, there are certainly events planned in your area. If you have not trained in Martial Arts, give it a try, almost all schools invite you to join a free training class.

Be on the lookout for my articles titled "Schooled", where I will be visiting local bay area MMA schools and sharing my experiences with you.

Remember, "Life is a fight, train for it!"


**I would like to thank the staff over at IMMAE for extending me the courtesy of press credentials for the event.**

*The arrests of Jeremy Jackson and Quinton Jackson.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

UFC 86- Libra keeps score

Hey Fight Fans,
UFC 86 proved to be yet another learning experience for "LibraporLibra". As an amateur journalist I wanted to try my hand at scoring fights. The reason for this was logistics. The UFC 86 card was held in Las Vegas, NV at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Not being able to attend in person, I resolved to give myself an opportunity to participate in the fights, so I chose to score them. The following is my breakdown of the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship fight between (28-7-0) Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Forrest Griffin (16-4-0).

Having never scored a fight on paper, the learning curve was steep. I was aware that in order to score a fight many variables needed to be considered. I have been following MMA since UFC 1, and consider myself to be a "hardcore" fan, so aside from knowing what to look for in the fight, the person scoring must have a method of recording results. I don't know how the cards look at ringside, but I know that I have a chicken-scratch laden notepad next to me right now.

The environment in my apartment was much different than normal. Last Saturday night, there was no "couch warrior" screaming at the flat screen television, or trying to show his wife how counter a choke. No, there was a husband and wife sitting on the couch, the husband scribbling a custom made shorthand for MMA on a notepad, and his wife, very happy for the quieter "Fight Night" as we call them.

The concentration level needed to score a fight immediately removes you from being a spectator, you are now an unpaid laborer. I did not get the same type of joy out of this experiment as I did covering weigh-ins in San Jose for the Strikeforce card. I could not really enjoy watching the fights, instead, I was recording actions. I would have to wait until after the fight to reap the benefits of scoring this fight.

The first few fights quickly passed as my writing speed was catching up with the pace of the match-ups. The next thing I knew, it was time for the main event, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin. I was very interested in this matchup. I knew that Griffin is the definition of a "game" fighter. He had defeated Mauricio "Shogun" Rua with a spirited effort for a very high-profile victory, as Rua was considered the best rated 205 lb. fighter at that time. "Rampage" had just come off an almost a 10 month layoff. Jackson had two victories in 2007 over Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell and Dan Henderson. At the weigh-ins, I felt Jackson did not look as lean and hungry as he did with his two previous fights. Griffin was lean,ready, and confident.

Griffin entered the ring bouncing and ready to go. "Rampage" slowly made his way to the cage, looking very serious and dramatic.

Round 1.
Griffin is on his toes and ready to go. The fighters meet in the center of the ring begin exchanging. Griffin with leg kicks and Jackson with uppercuts. Griffin continues to pepper Jackson with jabs, a high kick, and more punches. Jackson rushes in to brawl with Griffin. More punches and kicks are exchanged until Jackson drops Griffin with an uppercut and works against the cage. Griffin scrambles his way back to his feet to throw more punches before the end of the round.
10-9 Jackson

Round 2
Griffin starts off with brutal leg kicks that hurt Jackson's leg, and then takes him down to the matt. Griffin stays on top position working elbows and peppering Jackson with punches to the body. Griffin attempts an Americana submission to no avail. He continues to work on the top, more elbows and punches throughout the round. Jackson did not make any submission or escape attempts from the bottom. Jackson stated after the fight that he used that as an opportunity to recover from the brutal leg kicks.
10-9 Griffin

Round 3
Jackson throws a combination of punches a few land. His leg seems to have recovered from the leg kicks.Griffin comes out with a high kick and a one-two combination. Jackson flurries and throws more combinations landing again. Griffin responds with a high kick attempt. Although I do not have Griffin scoring many points in this round, there must have been something I did not record, or an intangible that made me score this round for Griffin.
10-9 Griffin

Round 4
Jackson starts out by brawling Griffin down to the matt. Griffin pulls full guard and Jackson fails at a slam attempt. Griffin in bleeding from two cuts on his right eye. Griffin works his way back to his feet and the two exchange. Jackson was finding his target more often than Griffin.
10-9 Jackson

Round 5
Griffin comes out throwing combinations and a kick. The two exchange but nothing significant is landed. More punches are thrown from Griffin as the two are content to circle for most of the round. Jackson tried to mount offense during the last few rounds, but Griffin had excellent use of kicks, the jab, and staying light on his feet to stay away from Jackson.
10-9 Griffin

48-47 Griffin.

Judges Adalaide Byrd and Nelson Hamilton scored the bout 48-46 Griffin. Roy Silbert turned in a card of 49-46 for Griffin, you new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.*

I did enjoy scoring this fight myself, yet I feel the compromise of losing on the entertainment value of the show is too great. I did enjoy being able to debate my fellow fans over the next few days with my notes in hand, as this was the silver lining of not actually being able to watch the fights. Unless you must score your fights for school assignments or bragging rights with your buddies, stick to just being a "couch warrior", and enjoy watching the fights. Scoring a fight is not the same as following along with Joe Rogan and the Mike"Goldie" Goldberg.

When I watch the fights, I want to relax, and forget about my responsibilities. Regarding the UFC Silva-Irvin card on July 19th, I will find yet another angle to cover the fights for us fans. Even if I don't score all the bouts, I will argue with my buddies anyway.

"Life is a fight, train for it!"

Jonathan "LibraporLibra" Cardenas

*Judges scores and photos provided by UFC.com

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Strikeforce 10-Press Passes?

Walking in to a fight event without press credentials is not as bad as it may seem. I give you my view on the Strikeforce 10 event that took place last night in San Jose, California as a spectator.

We will start off with the weigh-ins, as they were exactly what you would expect. Professional fighters with bottles of water and Pedialyte, trainers, families, fans and media were on hand to provide somewhat of a human current in the room at Dave & Busters in Milpitas, CA.

Round 1-Weigh-ins
The atmosphere was comfortable, and approaching fighters and MMA celebrities to speak with them was simple. I had an opportunity to briefly chat with Bas Rutten, who was accompanied by Mr. Kenny Rice. Bas was very cordial with fans and media alike, as they reproved his status by steadily greeting and speaking with him. Tracy Lee of combatlifestyle.com was in attendance as well. I introduced myself and spoke with her briefly as she was working the event.
Jake Shields (20-4-1) will be fighting for EliteXC's first welterweight title belt versus Nick Thompson (36-9-1). The fight will be on Saturday, July 26th on CBS.

All went smooth at the weigh-ins, other than Josh Thompson weighing-in at a pound over to start the event. A short while passed, the towel was brought out, and all order was restored as the championship weight requirement was met.

Round 2-Strikeforce 10
On to the fights! This amateur journalist had to leave the event before the championship bout between Thompson and Melendez, but I offer up my sentiments on the event up until that point. HP Pavilion was a great venue, although more beverage vendors would have been appreciated. The lighting and large video screens provided great viewpoints, and the ushers made every effort to keep the aisles clear for traffic, making navigating your way around the pavilion comfortable.

The crowd was very involved and boisterously supported the local fighters, and the opposition was not to be outdone. At one point during the Bobby Stack vs. Jose Palacios fight the crowd began a shouting match. "Bobby!Bobby! comes from one side of the stadium, as "Jo-se!Jo-se!" cried out from the other. Jose Palacios is a local San Jose fighter (3-1) who was undefeated until his meeting with Bobby Stack (5-1), of Pacifica, California.

Another pleasing fight for the fight-fans was the bout between Miesha Tate and Elaina Maxwell. Most of the fight was spent on the ground as Tate spent most of the fight transitioning between ground and pound and submission attempts. Although the fight was fairly one-sided, the crowd showed their knowledge of MMA by cheering at every advance taken by a fighter, no matter how subtle.

The booes did not show up until the co-main event between AKA's Bobby Southworth (9-5) and
Anthony Ruiz (20-11). This bout was a title defense for Southworth who last defended the belt in September of 2007 vs. Bill Mahood. It was a hard fought battle for Southworth who had to work all five rounds to keep the game Ruiz at bay. The fight was spent mostly on the ground with Southworth out-working Ruiz and showing the Light-Heavyweight divison that he "is" the champion. Bobby Southworth had his loyal fans on hand for support as they cheered him upon his exit.

Round 3-Wrap up
Although I did not have press credentials, knowing who to look for can present you with great opportunities. Here are a few photos I took at the show and weigh-ins.

I had an opportunity to meet Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (5-1 in the UFC), with a notable and decisive victory over TUF fighter Tommy Spears. Johnson is set to face Kevin Burns (7-1-0) on Spikes' July 19th show. Johnson is an explosive and athletic fighter who attributes his work ethic to his father "pushing him" and his love for athletics. Johnson says he fears "only God" and will fight anyone the UFC puts in front of him. "Rumble" has a bright future ahead of him in the sport and plans to continue his ascent in the welterweight division.

Jeremiah Metcalf (9-4) who had a great performance against World Combat League standout, Raymond Daniels. Meltcalf executed a perfect gameplan and took Daniels to the mat and eventually submitted him by rear naked choke early in the second round. Metcalf looked solid in his performance and provided a great show for the crowd as well.

San Jose continues to stand out as a city that supports MMA, and where anyone with tact and a camera can have a great time.

Here at LibraporLibra's MMA we would like to stand out in the Bay Area as your source for local MMA news, events, and interviews with local fighters.

I would like to thank my wife for encouraging me to do what makes me happy, and I encourage all of you to do the same.

Libra with Paul "The Headhunter" Buentello and "Crazy" Bob Cook of AKA in San Jose, CA.

And Remember, "Life is a fight, Train for it!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Welcome Fight Fans

Hey Fight Fans and Friends alike,

Here is an audio welcome for you "casual" fight fans out there from the host of "LibraPorLibra'sMMA" blog.

For you "hardcore fans", here is where I say what's up to you!

Although this blog is an assignment for school, I enjoy developing this very much. I enjoyed Scott Ayliffe's blog, really nice.It reflects his excitement for this assignment. Rasputin is a cool cat. Jennifer Roberts also had a nice family friendly blog. Elektra and Athena are very cute!I enjoyed the pictures of all of the cats. I have a four-legged son myself, although, he is a canine.

This is Metro. He got his name from the "Memphis Metro Gang Unit" , they named him. He was recovered during a drug bust as a puppy and turned over to the Memphis Animal Shelter. I saw him on the news one morning with his "Aunt Kathy" as he was up for adoption. I made the phone calls and my wife and I made our way to adopt him. Needless to say he has been with us since then, and will be turning 4 this September.

This blog will be dedicated to MMA and my pursuit of a career in the World's Greatest Sport. Please visit back every week to view my weekly MMA posts .

The blog breaks down like this:
Round 1
I will post my predictions on the eve of big events, like the "UFC", and "EliteXC".
Round 2
Also, post fight comments myself and insiders like "SlickRickdaFish" and "Eddie106".
Round 3
More MMA, fans' letters and notes, and anything else that is on "Libra's" mind.

Jonathan "LibraPorLibra" Cardenas.

And Remember, "Life is a fight, Train for it!"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"Kimbo " and "Colossus"-Answers

Photo by: (Rich Schultz / Associated Press / May 31, 2008)

Kevin Ferguson
"Kimbo Slice" fought in the main event fight with "Colossus" James Thompson on Elite XC's: "Primetime" card on May 31st in the Heavyweight class.

Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (3-0
has been both criticized and complimented.

The questions surrounding him: "Can Ferguson hold his own against a well-rounded mixed martial artist?" and "Can Ferguson last three entire rounds with a well conditioned opponent?".

Ferguson's conditioning had not yet been tested, as his first two professional fights lasted only a combined 62 seconds.

The answer to the first question: "Yes"

Everyone wanted to know if Ferguson could survive on the ground if a fighter was to take him down. Although Thompson is not known for his ground game, he was able to take the fight to the ground several times throughout the fight. There lies the answer itself, to both questions. Ferguson can survive on the ground once put there. He was able to get up when taken down, although receiving punishment from "Colossus" while on the canvas, "Kimbo" survived to the 3rd and final round.

James "Colossus" Thompson (14-9-0).
Although he has better than a .500 record, he has lost three of his last four fights by rapid knockout. 3 loses in 3 minutes, the "Colossus" is know for rushing his opponent and trading punches immediately.

The questions surrounding James Thompson: "Can Thompson's chin survive the onslaught of powerful and well placed strikes that "Kimbo" will bring to the cage?" and "Will Thompson charge across the ring, or will he bring a thought-out game-plan to the fight?"

Again: The answer is "Yes" to both questions.

Thompson ate at least one variation of everything Ferguson threw his way, yet his chin and his legs lasted until the 3rd and final round. We saw Thompson throwing punches, attempting and succeeding with take-downs. I don't know how many people predicted this fight to last three rounds, I was not one of them.

The fight, although not without a controversial ending, did answer questions. I feel the fight did give the public the opportunity to see Ferguson on the ground, pushed to his training abilities. Whether we as fans and spectators liked what we saw, or did not see, questions were answered.


And Remember, "Life is a fight, Train for it!"