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MMA Author Jeremy Brown Interview

>> Wednesday, January 28, 2015

 I just got Jeremy Brown to agree to an interview for the website. (Jeremy has written the books we used as “comps” when pitching my own upcoming novel, Human Chess initially- Sucker Punch and Hook and Shoot.) You know yourself there aren’t a lot of this genre (MMA Thrillers out there yet). 

 His latest in the Woodshed Wallace Series is Anaconda Choke coming in May:

Which authors have been your greatest influences?
Elmore Leonard tops the list for sure, with his amazing dialogue and characters. He was the first author who made me realize there wasn’t one particular voice a writer needed to have--that standard third-person thriller narrative style that works well for a lot of writers, but I seem to struggle with. Elmore’s exposition was in the voice of the characters rather than some omniscient being, and he let his characters speculate and daydream about how a situation might play out. Even when nothing was happening, there was a lot going on.
Raymond Chandler showed me how to handle a first-person narrative, which kicked open the door to Suckerpunch and rest of the Woodshed books, so I owe him a lot as well.
Now that I’m jumping into historical adventures with Akon’s Mission, the work of Bernard Cornwell--particularly his Sharpe series--is inspiring and intimidating at the same time. His wry, gallows humor and knack for putting Sharpe into desperate, thrilling situations has been immensely helpful as I try to navigate the genre.
If you had to choose when starting a series; do you begin with a story or particular character(s)?
Always the characters. If I’m going to spend that much time with someone, and ask readers to do the same, the characters had better be fun, interesting, and have entertaining conversations. And it usually works better for me to come up with the characters first then figure out what kind of terrible situations to dump them into to create conflict and growth, rather than define a scenario and see who should populate it.
I don’t typically know a whole lot about the characters before I start writing. I don’t go into detailed lists about their parents, wardrobe, hygiene, etc. I just want to know what they want, what they need, and what they’ll do if someone or something tries to stop them from getting it. Then, once I start writing, I find out who they really are.
Also, when creating a series, how do you find the proper balance for new readers coming late to the series without being repetitive to existing readers in re-telling key aspects that have brought your characters where they are today?
This is a sticky one. I would rather leave the “Previously, in the books you haven’t read…” parts out, but so far they’ve been necessary to get the full context of what’s happening. I try to get it over with as quickly as possible without creating a huge info dump or making it read like a bullet list.
It’s also an opportunity for the reader’s interest to get piqued enough to go back and read those books, so sticking to the highlights helps with this. It’s unfortunate that spoilers are also included, but that’s the way it goes.
What rules would you like most to be changed/added to the sport of MMA in today’s world?
The rule against elbows from 12 to 6 (straight down) is pointless, since fighters can go from 1 to 7, 11 to 5, etc. I believe it was mainly instituted in case a fighter’s head is trapped between the mat and an elbow coming straight down. I don’t think the potential damage is any worse than an elbow from 1 to 7, or a horizontal elbow slammed straight down.
Combinations should get scored higher with each strike landed. I dislike the “stalk, stalk, stalk, punch, repeat” strategies. Sitting in the pocket and putting together combos while slipping, ducking, etc. showcases a higher skill level, in my opinion, and should be scored as such.
Judges and referees should have to train MMA. If they’re going to decide who wins a fight, they should have at least some knowledge about what they’re watching and scoring. Anyone who’s been caught in a grappler’s guard and can’t do a damn thing about it knows that grappler is in control of the fight, but some judges only consider who has the top position and figure that fighter should take the round.
What are the Top 3 MMA fights you’ve watched?
Tough one!
Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 1 I was chewing through the table for this entire fight. I love watching Silva fight, but only when he’s actually fighting. His antics when he’s bored or trying to show off are tedious and embarrassing, but when he flips the switch into finishing mode it’s terrifying. He makes other professional fighters look like clueless amateurs. But for this fight, I was rooting for Weidman. I remember Matt Serra saying he was training the guy who would beat Silva, and this was before Weidman’s first fight in the UFC. So I’d kept an eye on him and was very impressed. Weidman earned his title shot and Silva seemed insulted he had to be in the same cage with him. The way it ended was poetic and legendary.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic Pride FC was in its heyday, Cro Cop--considered by some to be the scariest fighter in MMA--had knocked out Fedor’s little brother with a head kick, and Fedor was out to teach the bully a lesson. He stalked Cro Cop for three rounds and took everything Mirko had, including a glancing left head kick that would have dropped a lesser man, and proved who the best fighter in the world was.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks I included this one because my wife and I saw it live, and it was the 20th anniversary of the UFC. We thought we might see the standard GSP strategy of cautious aggression, but he stood with Hendricks and traded and everybody knew it could all be over with one punch from the challenger. Even though it went to decision, it was a great finish to a very exciting night.
Have you optioned the “Woodshed” Wallace series yet for screen adaptation and would you prefer television or movies as your medium?
I’ve had some nibbles but no bites for a screen adaptation, though I’ve written five or six versions of it myself on spec after requests from production companies. After watching Breaking Bad and now that I’m bingeing Sons of Anarchy, I think television would be a great fit for Woody’s gritty world and violent fight scenes. A Netflix or Amazon series would be perfect.
If you were a judge, what would you look for from a fighter in a round?
Octagon control, whether that means aggression or baiting, initiating or countering, and especially what they do after defending a takedown or break from a clinch. These seem like prime opportunities rarely exploited. I also get frustrated when I see a fighter chase an opponent down for three or five rounds and never try to cut him or her off. I say all of this knowing how completely ridiculous it is for me to sit on my couch and yell at a fighter risking life, limb, and livelihood when I would likely tap out during the staredown, but isn’t that what a judge is supposed to do? Except the yelling part. And as long as they train!
Whom do you believe in for the MMA Mount Rushmore? (Choose only 4)
Man, another toughie. BJ Penn and Matt Hughes deserve consideration for sure. Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva have been the most dominant champions in the modern era. But if we’re going with founding fathers, I have to go with Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Royce Gracie, and Fedor Emelianenko. The good news is if the stone cracks, it will only make them look more accurate.
What can you tell us about “Anaconda Choke” without ruining all the surprises?
I know Woody has been in some nasty spots before, but this book puts him in the most terrible situations yet, made even worse because they’re partially his fault. His opponents in the cage have always been top-tier, and that continues with Rafa de Jaguaribe, aka “Aviso” because he enjoys warning his opponents before executing a technique, but this time around the battle outside the cage is against something much bigger and more dangerous than anything Woody has faced. He has everything to lose, and he doesn’t get to keep all of it.
Who is your favorite fighter and why?
I always liked Forrest Griffin because he seemed like he got where he was almost completely through hard work and a willingness to take more punishment than his opponent. He also seemed to regret hurting anyone, and I recall his interview with Joe Rogan after the Rampage fight, lamenting his reluctance to continue with leg kicks because he could tell they were really hurting Rampage. I respect that, because it goes against his best interests but not his character. He would make a fantastic Woodshed.
Right now my favorite fighters to watch are Anthony Rumble Johnson, who is a total destructive force, and
Ronda Rousey; it is amazing that her opponents know exactly what she intends to do, and still can’t stop her.


UFC-Reebok: Lifting all fighters or overreach?

Hello Everyone-

I'm new to the team and wanted to ask your opinion.  Who believes the Reebok deal with UFC is the right thing to do?

To me; I think it hurts the fighters.  A fighter should be able to get their own sponsorship deals.
Better fighters get better deals and up and comers are encouraged to do what it takles to get the best sponsorships they can.

Fighters are supposed to worry about training so I understand ZUFFA believes they are helping.  For me, the best help is to get out of the way and stop putting their hands in the fighter's pockets.


The psychological GENIUS of Conor McGregor!!!

>> Monday, September 29, 2014

Conor McGregor is the personification of a Champion. He doesn't have the belt yet, but he will. What he has, is a crazy self belief. Now there's a fighter who'll tell you he believes in himself, and then there's a fighter who will SHOW you he believes in himself. When people say King Kong aint got shit on me, and they TRULY believe that, they can become the most powerful people on the earth. Nothing will stop them, and everything else, everyone else, becomes secondary to their goals.

There's a story about Arnold Schwarzenegger skipping his own fathers' funeral so that he could be prepared for his Mr Olympia defence, that's the type of tenacity, insane motivation, and mental focus that it takes to be on the P4P list. Conor McGregor has that tenacity, he also has belief in everyone around him, BUT, and he mentioned this about Dustin, he relies on HIMSELF, he gives HIMSELF, the utmost responsibility in putting in the work to be in shape. 

Fighters that move camps are looking to RELY on OTHERS, to get them in shape and tell them how to move, and do this and that. But you don't need a celebrity in your corner, you don't need a 'Greg Jackson' to tell you what to do, you need the PRIDE that the people you grew up with give you.

Look at the way Conor McGregor comes out to a face off or a weigh in, he puffs up his chest expands it with air and starts hyperventilating  He pushes out both his arms and adds size to his profile, his eyes go wide and he screams like he's fuckin INSANE like a true PRIMAL mother fucker. When the person fighting him steps to the scales, they're doubting themselves already, like, "look at this crazy fucker, just look at him, he's ready to fucking kill me, and I have to kill him, I don't know if I'm ready to kill him, what if he actually DOES kill me?". At that second they're done. Conor is right when he says it's about psychology, it's about the mind, not just of yourself, but your opponent. Conor will single handedly convince you that you will lose. You can try and be a tough guy and point fingers and have wimpy little retorts like Dustin did, but it won't help you, because the truth is, you WILL NOT, out crazy that man.

Conor showed how dominant his primal agression is when he stepped up to the scale to flex against Dustin on the stage. Dustin tried hard to ignore him, but you could tell he was visually shook by this display of alpha agression on the stage and was outclassed, this happened in the UFC Embedded episode as well, when Conor came into the breakout room and Dustin had to leave really quickly. This is the difference between Conor and a lesser fighter, it's in his nature to do shit like that, staunch stuff YOU would never think of, comes naturally to him, because he TRULY believes that he is the alpha male on that stage and wherever he goes.

When I saw Conor beat the breaks off of Brimage, I knew he'd be special, and then a quick look at his highlights confirmed it to me. The speed at which he moves, counters punches, mixes it up with bolo punches and hook kicks etc. is the speed and variety of a true mixed martial artist.

When he talks about movement, he's not full of shit. Conor has an advantage over most fighters in that he has complete control over his muscles and limbs, and that mind to body connection enables him to manipulate his limbs in ways that chain fluid striking combinations together. It's not all that different from a break dancer doing a set of spins or tumbles, in that it's one 'fluid' movement, sliding seamlessly into another carrying momentum instead of dropping it.  Most other fighters these days follow a process, or a pattern, in their striking, they train and compete with orthodox flat footed kickboxers, so when someone as dynamic, fluid and unorthodox as McGregor comes along, it's no longer about being the better kickboxer, it's about being the better fighter and defending against unnatural angles you haven't prepared for and have no clue how to defend.

In summary Conor McGregor is the real thing, he mixes unrivaled belief with primal agression, analytical ability, pure athleticism, mental warfare, natural skill and hard work into an overall package. He's what MMA needs. We need less one dimensional 'super athlete' wrestlers from american colleges, who don't really know what they're doing and win fights because they're simply more powerful than their opponents. We need MORE explosive, skilful, all round fighters like McGregor and Jones, who do MASTER EVERYTHING in their arsenal.

So I'm putting all my steam behind Mcgregor. Like Conor says, Mendez is a midget bodybuilder, who out athletes people, he's not a martial artist. Is Mendez mentally stronger than a Dustin Poirer? Yes, but he has looked shook before when he fought Aldo, and once you get KO'd you're never the same. Aldo on the other hand, is someone who rests on his laurels and is skilful enough to beat any of the fighters on the UFC roster without preparation, and it shows in some of his decision performances lately, but I don't think he can get away with that against McGregor and you know what they say, hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.

So I personally think they'll both fall to the man with the red beard and fire in his belly, swinging pickaxes on the battlefield like a true Green blooded McGregor Irishman! and in both cases, I think they already have.

- Vince


All the best Anderson Silva Broken Leg Pics.

>> Monday, December 30, 2013


ONE FC Matchups To Make

>> Thursday, October 24, 2013

  ONE FC recently delivered us another exciting event at ONE FC: Total Domination where we saw many HUGE fights for MMA in Asia. After watching the event I couldn't help but think about who I wanted to see these guys fight next. Now I give you the match ups that ONE FC should set up soon!

Arnaud "The Game" Lepont(9-3) vs Honorio "The Rock" Banario(8-2)

  Both of these men are coming off of losses and neither to bad opponents either. I have seen Lepont doing some talk on Facebook about dropping down to Featherweight and he is looking for an opponent there. Banario recently lost his belt and probably eager to get back into the cage. This fight makes for an interesting stylistic match up as both fight very differently. These two can go to war as well! A win for Lepont would easily establish him in the Featherweight division and with Banario already being an established fighter in his division a win would put him a fight or two away from a title shot. Lepont has exciting entrances and both put on exciting fights. With that kind of combination there is no way the crowd will be doing anything else besides cheering and yelling out for more!

Eric "The Natural" Kelly(9-1) vs Mitch "Dragon" Chilson 2(4-2-1NC)
These two touching gloves before their first encounter.

  Both guys had a good run in ONE FC. Although those streaks recently came to an End after Kelly lost to Banario and Chilson lost to Wiratchai. Both guys have faced on another before and Kely won. It is time for the rematch to finally happen. Both are now coming off losses and need a good win t get them back in the mix for a title shot in ONE FC. Kelly lost on a title shot and Chilson was undoubtedly close to one when he lost. In he original fight they had a exciting one round battle where Kelly was the victor. Chilson has drastically improved since then and showed clear improvement in very fight afterwards. Kelly has become a more dangerous fighter as well. With the original match being an exciting one and both warriors having improved since then this make this a very logical match up that would for use cause fireworks and put the winner a win or two away from a shot at ONE FC gold! The fans have been waiting for this! Give it to them Victor Cui!

Eddie "The Magician" Ng(7-1) vs Lowen Tynanes(5-0)
Ng after recently defeating Peter Davis in his last ONE FC bout

  This is one of the most interesting match ups that could happen in ONE FC. Both Ng and Tynanes are early in their careers but have quickly blazed to the top of the Asian MMA scene after dominating some of the toughest fighters competing in the region. Ng has gone 4-0 in ONE FC by defeating the likes of Chunbo Yuan, Jian Kai Chee, Arnaud Lepont, and recently Peter Davis! Tynanes is 2-0 in the promotion after defeating Vuyisile Colossa and Felipe Enomoto, but let's not forget his dominating win in the URCC over ONE FC star Eduard Folayang which as also only Tynanes second fight! Ng is an explosive starter who is extremely well rounded and Tynanes is a fast starter who dominates using his wrestling and ground ' pound. If Aoki were to ever vacate his Lightweight belt this would be an amazing match up to set up for a vacant Lightweight title fight, but know one knows of Aoki's plans to defend his belt yet. On the bright side there is no way this fight could be boring. Both could challenge one another like no else has challenged either one before. A win by Ng would allow him to make even better claim to being one of the top lightweights out there in ONE FC meanwhile a win for Tynanes may very well grant him a shot at Shinya Aoki's belt! An explosive war between two extremely talented up and comers.

Super-Fight! Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki(34-2-1NC) vs Bibiano "Flash" Fernandes(15-3)

  Ever since Aoki has talked of going to Featherweight there has been talk of him fighting Bibiano Fernandes who used to fight at Featherweight. Now that Aoki has dropped down and won his Featherweight debut against Cody Stevens at ONE FC: Total Domination this super fight can now happen! It would be a fight between the DREAM/ ONE FC Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki and the Former DREAM Featherweight Champion and the current DREAM/ ONE FC Bantamweight Champion Bibiano Fernandes.  How is that not a super fight?! It would attract masses of fans from across the world! It is also an interesting fight stylistically. Both guys are great grapplers who when they finish it's normally by submission. Fernandes could definitely hang with Shinya Aoki on the ground! To go along with that it would be interesting to see how Aoki's improved striking would play out against the good boxing of Fernandes. On the down side Aoki does seem noticeably weaker at Featherweight and we saw him tired fterwards which was unusual. Meanwhile his hypothetical opponent in this article Fernandes is rarely seen very tired and is strong at any weight class he competes in. This match up would be huge for ONE FC to put on and ifit was accompanied with a stacked card as well then the entire event would be he hugest event in Asian MMA!

  If you agree with me or believe that any one of these fights needs to be seen share the article or spread the word! Cui loves giving fans what they want. Don't forget that on November 15 ONE FC will crown it's first ever Welterweight champion at ONE FC: Warrior spirit! Do not miss it!


ONE FC: Return of Warriors set for February 2nd!

>> Sunday, December 02, 2012

The ONE FC is back at it again! The last ONE FC event, Rise of Kings, was an exciting event where we saw the long anticipated ONE FC debut of Shinya Aoki and the crowing of ONE FC's first two champions. Now it has been confirmed that ONE FC will be returning on February 2nd. The event will be called ONE FC: Return of Warriors. Return of Warriors will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The lightweight and featherweight belts will probably be on the line at this event. If the chance to be the inaugural ONE FC Featherweight champion is on the line it will probably be a battle between the two Filipino warriors Eric "The Natural" Kelly(9-0) and Team Lakay's Honorio "The Rock" Banario(7-1). That has great potential to be an exciting fight. If the lightweight belt is on the line then it will be Kotetsu Boku(20-7-2) fighting either number one Japanese fighter Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki(31-6-1NC) or the number one Filipino lightweight and Team Lakay memeber Eduard "Landslide" Folayang(12-3). With Folayang losing his fight in the most recent URCC event, via Doctor Stoppage, he might not get the title shot. Aoki is rumored to be fighting on the upcoming DREAM New Year's Eve card. If he Aoki can pick up another win and take little damage he might very well be the one that ONE FC favors for the title shot. These all make for exciting matches that should hopefully bring the fans some exciting finishes.

Let's hope they give us another exciting event, another stacked card, and some champions being crowned.

These are not official but if I was to be putting fights together for this card these are the ones that I would set up,

Lightweight Title- Kotetsu Boku vs Eduard Folayang
Inaugural Featherweight Title- Eric Kelly vs Honorio Banario
Bantamweight Title- Soo Chul Kim vs Bibiano Fernandes

Lightweight Bout- Shinya Aoki vs Felipe Enomoto(Then give Aoki the title shot if he were to win)
Lightweight Bout- Arnaud Lepont vs Eddie Ng
Feathereweight Bout- Mitch Chilson vs Bae Young Kwon
Bantamweight Tournament Semi Final- Jens Pulver vs Kevin Belingon


ONE FC: Rise of Kings Results

>> Sunday, October 07, 2012

This was another great event by ONE FC. There were exciting fights, knockouts, TKOs, and a Submission to end the night. The Bantamweight Grand Prix began, the first two ONE FC champions were crowned, and the Aoki won his long anticipated ONE FC debut in spectacular fashion.

Lightweight Bout
Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki(31-6) vs Arnaud "The Game" Lepont(9-2)
- Shinya Aoki Victory
- Round 1
- Submission(Triangle) 

Inaugural ONE FC Lightweight Championship
Zorobabel "Zoro" Moreira(7-2) vs Kotetsu "No Face" Boku(20-7)
- Kotetsu Boku Victory
- Round 3

Inaugural ONE FC Bantamweight Championship
Soo Chul Kim(5-3) vs Leandro "Brodinho" Issa(10-3)
- Soo Chul Kim Victory
- Round 2
- KO

Middleweight Bout
Ryo "Rambo" Kawamura(15-6) vs Melvin "No Mercy" Manhoef(26-9-1-1NC) vs 
- Melvin Manhoef Victory
- Round 1
- KO

Bantamweight Grand Prix Bout
Zhao Ya Fei(1-3) vs Jens "Lil Evil" Pulver(27-17)
- Jens Pulver Victory
- Unanimous Decision(The fight went to a decision after Pulver could no longer continue due to a second kick to the ground)

Bantamweight Grand Prix Bout
"Running Man" Min Jung Song(3-5) vs Masakatsu Ueda(16-2-2)
- Masakatsu Ueda Victory
- Unanimous Decision

Bantamweight Grand Prix Bout
Yusup "Maestro" Saadulaev(9-2-1) vs Kevin "Silencer" Belingon(10-2)
- Kevin Belingon Victory
- Round 1
- KO

Flyweight Bout
Gianni Subba(1-0) vs Bruce Loh(2-2)- Gianni Subba Victory- Round 1- KO

Featherweight Bout
Ngabdi  Mulyadi(5-5) vs Mitch "Dragon" Chilson(4-1-1NC)
- Mitch Chilson Victory
- Round 2

Although there are no Fight, Knockout, or Submission of the Night bonuses given in the ONE FC these are the fighters I would've given them too,

Fight of the Night: 
Knockout of the Night: Melvin Manhoef
Submission of the Night: Shinya Aoki


Miesha Tate doesn't feel she is ready for rematch with Rousey

>> Monday, August 20, 2012

Miesha Tate and Julie Kedzie put on an awesome fight on Saturday night. Miesha was showing heart and managed to come back in the fight and win by a third round arm bar. Miesha doesn't feel she is ready for the title shot yet though,

"I'm not going to ask for that at that point because I don't feel that I deserve it. I think that I need to take a couple fights and I need a better performance than that. I think the fans deserve something better, and I know that I can deliver better than that. ... At this point, I don't feel that my performance, I mean everyone is saying it was ‘Fight of the Night' and everything and that's great and I'm really happy it was an entertaining bout. But I personally am not happy with my performance. I definitely don't think it was a contention worthy performance."


"Jacare" Souza gets a devastating knockout win! Fight video included!

"Jacare" Souza is known for his amazing grappling and submission but he also has very good hands. His striking has been improving greatly and this fight shows it. The Brazilian is certainly showing that he deserves a rematch with the man who took his belt Luke Rokchold. Either him or Lorenz Larkin will be getting the next shot at Rockhold's twice defended belt.


ONE FC: Rise of Kings Fight Card shaping up well

>> Thursday, August 16, 2012

ONE FC: Rise of Kings so far seems like it is going to be a great card with the announcement of Shinya Aoki vs Arnaud Lepont and the fact that three champions will be crowned at this event. Now they have even more announcements. Melvin Manhoef, Zorobabel Moreira, and Singapore's first MMA fighter Radeem Rahman will all be competing on the card. Looks to be a great night of MMA action so far. We will keep you updated on other fighters who will be making appearances on the card and the match ups.



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