Quarantine has effected many people’s way of life, from their work life, to their family life, seeing loved ones relatives or friends and their daily schedule. The life of a martial artist is no different and the way of life we follow has greatly been altered due to Covid-19. Any modern day martial art, examples being wrestle, kickboxing, boxing, Jiu jitsu(Brazilian) etc. requires more than one person to train. Of course there are many solo drills in each art you can do to improve, but majority of training that will extend your knowledge and skill requires training partners.
I’ve been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for many years off and on, the last three years being on. I’m a purple belt under Carl Massaro, who he himself is a 3rd degree black belt under Renzo Gracie who was his coach for most of his Jiu jitsu journey. Carl Massaro is also very good friends with BJJ coach and innovator John Danaher, who many know as GSP Jiu Jitsu coach and the coach of the famous Danaher death squad. Mr. Danaher has produced legends on the mat such as the current no gi phenom Gordon Ryan, his brother Nicky, Garry Tonon, and many others. Team Renzo Gracie is known for there specialty in no gi especially the main academy in the city in manhattan which many people refer to as the blue basement.
I’ve been training under Carl for three years and I train religiously. I try to make it at least 5 times a week, I’ve competed, trained staff the blue basement, rolled against famous competitors, and met some awesome people. The lockdown has shut down many martial arts schools across the world, mine included, and has severely halted the progress of Jiu jitsu athletes everywhere. Similar to the 1920’s when the prohibition occurred and everyone went to underground bars to drink, many people are doing secret training sessions with a limited number of people who they trust. Now, whether you agree with that or not is your opinion but the fact of the matter is that some people only have Jiu Jitsu. People dedicate their lives to the art and the sport and that’s why it’s made it so far. Jiu Jitsu for me as improved my life in so many ways, it’s made me more determined, focused, strict with my daily regimen, and has even helped me mentally and spiritually. Many Jiu jitsu athletes will tell you it’s helped them with mental health and has aided them with their battles against depression. I have never experienced the clinical medical condition known as depression personally but I have felt down and out with stuff in my life, be it my job, family, losing a loved one, etc. Jiu Jitsu has always helped me through tough times and will always be there for me and anyone who relies on it.
Anyone who trains can tell you the importance of it in their lives and the impact it has made. I urge you all to try it and experience the joy for yourself. For many enthusiasts like myself, training means everything to you and not being able to train is devastating. Just like everyone who’s locked down, I’m counting down the days until I can return to the mats and train with my Jiu jitsu family.
Rob Namme, also known as “Bobby” is a wrestler turned MMA fighter coming out of New City, NY. Bobby was brought into this world by Rob and Deb Namme on February 7, 1995 in Suffern, New York. Bob has an older brother Chris and since a young age they’ve been wrestling competitively. Bob was in a talent stacked division of wrestlers coming out of the Hudson Valley and trained in exotic places such as France and Bulgaria. Bob walks around at 170 lbs and fought at 160 lbs in his last outing in February 1, 2020. He was able to come away with the win in a decision victory in a slugfest. Bob trains at Rigoro Gym located in New City, New York. Rigoro Gym is ran by Ricky Vllasaliu, A decorated European kick boxer with tons of knowledge in the MMA world. Rigoro Gym is quickly starting to rise as many members make the decision to compete. Bobby was a perfect fit for the ROCK’d brand. He’s been a good friend for a majority of our lives, and has been nothing but supportive throughout our journey of making dreams into reality. Bob has a bright future in the MMA spotlight and ROCK’d is proud to represent a fighter with his work ethic and integrity. We wish him best wishes going forward with his career and future endeavors. The ROCK’d family has now grown by one.
We’re one week closer to finding out if UFC 249 is going to take place on May 9, somewhere on earth. In the meantime, we are able to speculate about other things while we wait for that card to play out. The results of UFC 249 decide the future matchups that need to be made. If Justin Gaethje is able to pull off the upset and get the job done, He will have single handedly destroyed the “Cursed Matchup” Between Khabib and Tony. While we wait for that to play out, There are some other headlines that can be discussed.
Luke Rockhold Considering a Comeback
The former Middleweight turned Light Heavyweight recently said that he didn’t specifically retire for this reason. After his vicious KO in July at the hands of Jan Blanchowicz, Rockhold decided it would be in his best interest to step away from the sport for a while, focusing on other endeavors. While many like to speculate, saying that his career in the UFC is finished and he has a glass jaw, I’d like to disagree. Luke Rockhold is a top contender in any weight class. The UFC threw him into the heap when putting him against Jan, who is no walk in the park and is most likely challenging Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight title next. Luke’s accolades include holding the StrikeForce middle weight title, which he defended twice. The UFC middleweight title was taken quick and swift from him by Michael Bisping, a decorated Middleweight out of Manchester, England. Rockhold has only lost to the cream of the crop of his divisions, and has a bright future in the sport as many aging legends start to retire. I think Luke made the correct decision not saying that he retired.
Gaethje says he will not consider himself champion until he beats Khabib
The lightweight division has been nothing less of a mudslide ever since Mcgregor Moved up in late 2016. Since then, the lightweight division has been extremely top heavy and almost anybody in the top 5 of the rankings can challenge for the title. So far, Khabib has defended his belt against Conor Mcgregor, and Dustin Poirier. Two former featherweights that filled the lightweight division nicely, as they found their new home. Khabib has been trying to fight Tony Ferguson, the clear #1 contender in the lightweight division. They have tried making that matchup 5 times, and has been cancelled every time it’s been put together. Now, since the virus, The UFC has decided to take a different approach. The UFC has decided to make an interim title, which is basically a belt that allows you to be champion while the actual champion is out. Once he is healthy and or able to fight, it gives you a direct shot at the undisputed title. Many fans are against an interim title, saying that it gives a contender false hope and it’s pointless. I’d like to disagree (I disagree with mainstream a lot). I think that an interim title does something different for fighters that many people don’t see. Interim titles give the holder a certain boost in confidence, and may give them the push they need to take out the current champion. For example, Israel Adesanya burst on the scene as one of the most popular fighters out at the moment. Israel fought Kelvin Gastellum for the interim middleweight strap in April of last year, and I think it benefitted Adesanya very much. Adesanya went into the undisputed fight unfazed, and looked like he belonged in a championship fight more than the current champion did. By Gaethje setting a path for the belt, he’s preparing himself for the tasks coming up. Gaethje isn’t trying to cut any corners. By saying he won’t consider himself champion until he beats Khabib, he’s saying that he won’t consider himself the best until he takes out the best. If he beat’s undefeated Khabib, it isn’t even a question that he is the best lightweight in the world. It’ll be interesting to see how May 9th plays out.
Its been a long few weeks. I miss my friends and I miss being able to escape my home. Please stay safe and stay inside! This virus is no joke and we need to start treating it that way. We can only beat this thing if we’re all in this together. Tonight we’re shooting a podcast with two of our life long friends that are absolute nuts, and will share some of their stories with our audience. Tune in! Thank you to everyone supporting me and my dream, you all mean the world to me. Wash your hands.
It’s been a very boring few weeks in the MMA community. Dana White recently said that he’s aiming for UFC 249 to take place on May 9, pending a location. Since this headline, many analysts have been talking about the many matchups that are set to take place in two weeks. Me and my friend started a podcast yesterday where we went into depth about the possible outcomes of the upcoming event. If you want to check out our youtube, the link is embedded with the rest of our social media handles at the bottom of the website. I’m here to tell you the things that flew under the radar but have the potential to be big news in the coming future.
Jon Jones on Twitter.. Again
Jon Jones goes by the name Jon “Bones” Jones, recently people have been calling him twitter warrior. Jon recently got into legal trouble after operating a vehicle under the influence. Many analysts as well as other fighters took to social media to comment on the matter, some nicer than others. Comments ranged from “I hope he gets the help he needs” to “Classic Jon doing classic Jon things”. Bottom line is Jon has a substance problem and it is reflecting poorly on his hall of fame career. That being besides the fact, Jon gave us a view of what the future looks like for his next contender. Many people speculated and assumed that the UFC would run back Reyes V Jones since the first fight was razor close, as even some people scored the fight for Dominick Reyes. Dominick Reyes recently took to twitter to let his fans know that he is ready for the rematch, The UFC is ready for the rematch, and they were just waiting to hear from Jon’s camp. Jon in a string of rants last night commented on Anthony Smiths recent home burglary, as well as other things. Anthony Smith, A fellow light heavyweight and top contender in the UFC had his home broken into last week. He got into a physical altercation with the intruder and was able to get the police to the home before anyone was hurt. He told Anthony Smith “Anthony if you’re going to leave your garage door open all night, hurry up and by the family a gun, some mace or something. A douchebag more like me could’ve completely had his way with you all night, that could’ve been bad for everyone.” (via twitter). He then went on to comment about Dominick Reyes, stating “Now suddenly i’m afraid of a good dog fight? Pretty sure I walked him down for 25 minutes straight when we fought. One thing about being the champion of the world, you got to search for fresh meat on every soil. Im feeling like popping some (cherry emoji) in Poland, haven’t had that yet.” (via twitter). Referring to Jan Blanchowicz, another top contender in the UFC. Jan then commented back “So its a date. Cant wait to fist you.” (via twitter). First of all, LMFAO. It’s hilarious when foreign fighters try to talk shit and botch it completely. I think that Jon needs to regain his confidence with a big win over a surging contender like Blanchowicz in order to go into the Reyes rematch with a clear head. If he is to rematch Reyes immediately, He may get inside his own head and make a tragic mistake that could cost him his title.
Mcgregor Congratulates Ferguson, Takes to twitter afterwards
Conor Mcgregor is no stranger to talking his fair share of nonsense on twitter, and it continued this week. Tony Ferguson was set to face Khabib Nurmagomedov this weekend at UFC 249 before it was cancelled due to Covid-19. Tony Ferguson being a man of his word decided to cut weight and weigh in at 155 Friday afternoon, as a part of his “Champ Shit Only” campaign. Mcgregor, stirring the pot, commented “Congrats on an excellent victory, Tony Ferguson!! Now lets have the other guy on the scale please” (via twitter). Tony and Conor have yet to meet in the octagon, but Tony has been nothing but vocal about wanting to match up with “Mcnuggets”. About 15 minutes later, Mcgregor uploaded the image of Tony post weight cut saying “hahahajaja. You will be beat to the absolute nucleus pulpous when I get you, kid.” (via twitter). By Mcgregor doing this, he think’s he is setting himself up for the winner of Tony Khabib. Conor Mcgregor is possibly the smartest marketer in the UFC, and before you say “Conor bandwagon” hear the reasons. Mcgregor is one of the only fighters in the UFC that is able to make a whole event about himself. He owns all the PPV records and was able to have one of the largest draws in Boxing in the past decade. Regardless of his fighting skills, Conor Mcgregor is a business man through and through. I’m assuming that Mcgregor is writing off Gaethje against Tony, and is setting himself up for the winner of Khabib and Ferguson/Gaethje pending UFC 249. Nobody should write off Justin Gaethje, because he is one of the most violent men on the planet. Mcgregor loves to talk a big game, and he said he was planning on fighting a “Season” this year which consisted of 3 fights. He had his first against Donald Cerrone, so who’s next? Realistically, they should be booking Dustin Poirier V. Mcgregor for a few weeks before and or after Khabib V. Winner of UFC 249. Depending on the outcome of the fights, there’s a potential to see Mcgregor V. Ferguson or Khabib, by making his comments now it allows him to build the storyline.
UFC files patent on “Fight Island”
Recently, The UFC filed 22 patents under the aliases “Fight Island” and “UFC Fight Island”. The patents are for a wide range of products that range from hosting live events, to even merchandise like T-shirts, Posters, and fight gear such as head gear and gloves. The UFC is attempting to jump on a very lucrative opportunity in the middle of chaos and it is vintage Dana White. By purchasing the island, It allows international fighters to continue to fight, as well as fighters in the U.S that are prepared. While this sounds absolutely ludicrous and inappropriate to even be discussing in the middle of an Epidemic, it’s very smart. Many people are stuck in their home at the moment and have been itching to get outside. Many people are also struggling with not having sports at the click of a button. Holding fights during a time like this can be very good for the UFC. By them holding fights, it brings more eyes to the TV screen and more opportunity for the brand to expand into different markets. By putting on shows in the middle of this chaos, It shows that Dana White is willing to take risks to make the UFC blow up and be potentially as large as other professional sports. Signing the ESPN deal in the beginning of 2019 began the start of UFC’s expansion. Fight Island IS NOT a myth and is coming sooner than most think.
Let me take you back to September 27, 2014. UFC 178 was headlined by Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso, and Conor Mcgregor was on the undercard set to face Dustin Poirier. Both surging up and coming fighters that were clashing off in the featherweight division. Both looked very thin in their face off and it was clear they were meant for the lightweight division, but I won’t jump the gun. The match is set. The match takes place. It took Conor Mcgregor under two minutes to hit Poirier with an ear muff shot. Anybody that has been hit with one of the shot’s knows that it messes with your equilibrium and balance. Soon after that happened, Conor had vicious ground and pound for the win. Okay. Understandable. Everyone gets caught with a punch and on that day Mcgregor got the best of him. My question is for Dustin Poirier. My question is what happens if you get the Mcgregor rematch, and you’ve told yourself it was a lucky shot for all these years, and he goes out and does it again? Not even 3 months ago we saw Mcgregor expose Cowboy’s weakness by getting on him out the gate. Mcgregor may already have Poirier’s number and may do it again. BUT! Mcgregor has seemed to avoid this rematch for some odd reason, and when asked about opponents he says “Anyone can get it” but seem’s to never say Poirier’s name. It’s very interesting. Poirier tore through the whole division and lost to arguably the best fighter to ever live, and many people are writing him off after that. Just like many people wrote off Conor Mcgregor after he lost to Khabib. I think that Mcgregor and Poirier at welterweight is a fantastic idea. No weight cut so they will both be fresh, and I think that it should be interesting to see two of the top lightweights face off in unfamiliar territory. Though Mcgregor fought at welterweight before, I feel like he is still playing with fire. He is known to not have a gas tank and if Poirier trains correctly and can take him into that deep water, there’s no telling what may happen. I think this is a good matchup to make while we see what happens with the other fights. Tony and Justin for the interim lightweight championship, have a quick turn around winner fights Khabib, and then Dustin and Conor will determine the #1 contender for the winner of the undisputed belt. Just a Thursday thought. Hope you’re all staying safe, and the podcast is coming! Stay tuned!
Well, a full 24 hours haven’t even passed and our questions have been answered. Per Sources, UFC 249 is to take place May 9th. The location is TBD, and there are many moving pieces that will change in the coming weeks. The current card the UFC is portraying to the public is stacked from top to bottom. For the die hard MMA fan, a card like this comes maybe once a year. This year will be different because of the current situation with COVID-19. Since this virus is taking up a large chunk of the UFC’s calendar, they’re going to have to put all the cancelled fights on upcoming cards. If you have flirted with the idea of becoming an MMA fan, the upcoming months will be action packed without question. The UFC has contract obligations with all the fighters in regards to how many times they fight that year. So, If a fighter was scheduled to fight twice that year, they will have the opportunity to take two fights once business resumes.
In regards to UFC 249, I figured I’d give you guys an idea of what to expect from the first fight of the night to the last fight of the night. I took my pick on each fight, incase you’re a betting man and want to make some money in this declining economy. If you only want to see the main event, scroll down to the main event heading.
Charles Rosa V. Bryce Mitchell (Featherweight)- Interesting matchup. Charles Rosa had a surging submission in his last outing, but that was his first trip to the octagon since 2017. Rosa specializes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and can choke you from anywhere. Mitchell is the surging up and comer, who recently pulled off a “Twister” submission in a win against Matt Sayles. I think this fight will be a large grappling match, with tons of clinching and takedown attempts. If I had to take a winner: Mitchell
Vincente Luque V. Niko Price (Welterweight)- This is an absolute firecracker. Any other event this is one of the first fights on a main card. Luque is a heavy hitting Brazilian that never stops coming forward. Niko Price is an American wrecking machine, coming off the Vicious K.O up-kick he had against James Vick. Both fighters will stand in the middle of the ring, until one is knocked out. Both have granite chins. Should be a real exciting one. If I had to take a winner: Luque
Jacare Souza V. Uriah Hall (Middleweight)- Again, may seem like I’m repeating myself, BUT: Any other card this isn’t on the prelims. Two seasoned vets of their caliber have the potential to do paper view buys. Jacare was a fight away from a title shot not even a year ago and Uriah Hall has the power to put anybody’s lights out, even on their best day. I see this fight being relatively slow, both in the latter stages of their career, there will be a ton of clinching. Jacare by decision.
Carla Esparza V. Michelle Waterson (Strawweight)- Michelle Waterson is coming off an ass beating from Joanna, the former champion. She’s a skilled striker with many tools to put her in title contention. Carla Esparza is a former champion with world class skills, and this is a big test for Michelle Waterson. Waterson by decision.
Aleksi Olenik V. Fabricio Werdum (Heavyweight)- This fight is absurd in my opinion. They are throwing sheep to the wolves. Though Olenik is a seasoned veteran, with TONS of octagon time (71 fights, yes you read that right), I feel like he is at a huge disadvantage. Werdum is bigger, hits harder, and more elusive. Werdum is coming off a suspension and should be healthy as ever trying to make a statement for a title shot. Werdum by KO.
Greg Hardy V. Yorgan De Castro (Heavyweight)- The prelim main event. I’ve been following De Castro since he aired on the Contender Series, and I truly believe he is the dark horse of the heavy weight division. I don’t have much to say on this fight. Greg Hardy is a terrible human being that beats women. De Castro by devastating KO.
Donald Cerrone V. Anthony Pettis (Welterweight)- This is a good fight for both fighters. Both coming off losses, and both have a stake in the welterweight and lightweight division. Cowboy Cerrone has elite ground game and very technical standup, While Anthony Pettis is a world class striker with many highlight real KO’s. This is a fan favorite fight. I think Cowboy Cerrone by decision/submission.
Jeremy Stephens V. Calvin Kattar (Featherweight)- Two animals. Two guys who are going to go to the middle of the ring and slug it out. All night. Stephens is coming off a decision loss to a top contender in Yair Rodriguez, and Kattar is coming off a decision loss to another top contender, Zabit. I think Kattar gets the job done, should be a very good fight.
Francis Ngannou V. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (Heavyweight)- Can sum this one up pretty easily. Both guys are houses. Once one of them connects its lights out. Don’t blink. Ngannou by KO.
Amanda Nunes V. Felicia Spencer (Featherweight)- The first of 3 title fights on the night. Amanda Nunes without a doubt is pound for pound one of the best fighters period. Regardless of gender, she has proven time and time again why she is the clear GOAT of female MMA. Felicia Spencer is a surging contender coming from Invicta. Nunes wins by KO.
Henry Cejudo V. Dominick Cruz (Bantamweight)- This guy Henry Cejudo has to be one of the most annoying public figures to ever graze the earth. You would think that someone would tell him that only people over 5’4 can make certain comments. On a serious note, this matchup came out of a scrapped fight between Henry and Jose Aldo, the former featherweight king (Until mcgregor came 🙂 ). I think that if Henry is able to pull out another win against a legend like Dominic Cruz, its hard to not put him in the argument for pound for pound. I think Dom gets the job done, and sends henry back down to flyweight.
TONY FERGUSON V. JUSTIN GAETHJE (Lightweight)- They say to leave the best for last. Christmas came early this year. Two of the most violent men on the planet are going to be locked in a cage for twenty five minutes. One leaves with the belt. Gaethje has been campaigning for a title shot for months all over social media, and he is finally getting his chance to prove himself. Tony Ferguson has been here before, and even though it isn’t an undisputed belt, im sure Tony wouldn’t mind adding another interim belt to the collection until he gets his hands on Khabib. There are so many questions. How is Gaethje going to walk through Tony’s Elbows? How is Tony going to deal with Gaethje’s pressure? We’ve seen Tony get dropped multiple times in prior fights, but the real question is does Justin have it in him to put the lights out. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know it is going to be one hell of a show. I don’t see Tony losing, so I’ll take him in the late rounds.
I tried to put everything in plain, simple text like I was describing it to my grandma. If my grandma can understand, So can you! If I was a betting man (I am) and I had to put the house on a lock of the night, I think that Francis Ngannou gets the job done. I’m now finishing this blog at 3:00 AM Eastern Time, and I am tired. Hope you’re all not losing your minds, keep the faith. Until next time.
So, with every new blog people will tell you reasons why you should tune into theirs in particular. I’m not really interested in that, and I’m mainly doing this to voice my opinion. This blog in no way is a place for politics, or any other bullshit that people enjoy to complain about on the internet. Im 22 years old from New York finishing up my senior year of college. For about 6 years I’ve been engaged in mixed martial arts and have been hooked since the first day I was introduced to it. Enough about me, there are many questions to be answered. First on the list, UFC 249. The long awaited matchup between Tony and Khabib has been put to a halt again. The real question is: WHEN ARE WE GETTING THIS FIGHT? Since 2015 the UFC has been trying to put this fight together and it falls apart every single time. Don’t tell me any other matchup in the lightweight division that makes more sense. Both fighters are at the top of their game with different repertoires of skills that pose a problem on both sides. If Khabib takes down Tony, how is Tony getting up? If Tony cuts up Khabib with his elbows, how is Khabib going to react? These are all questions we thought we would get answered. We also recently heard that the much anticipated Kamaru Usman v. Jorge Masvidal matchup will take place, and that is a breath of fresh air. Kamaru trying to take away Jorge’s hype is absolutely absurd. To think that somebody could come out of practically retirement, starch the young buck in Darren Till, then absolutely ANNIHILATE Askren, and dismantle Nate Diaz, a title shot is not a reach in any regard. The real question with the welterweight division is the other matchup. The matchup to see the clear #1 contender. I’m not a fan of Tyron Woodley, I think he complains a lot and thinks that everyone is out to get him. BUT, in his defense, everybody has an off night. Tyron Woodley is arguably one of the best welterweights to ever come through the UFC, and even though it was a dominant performance by Kamaru, I think it warranted a rematch. Since we didn’t get the rematch, I propose you one better Uncle Dana, Colby Vs. Tyron for the #1 contender. Nobody can argue with colby’s skill, no matter how much of a moron the guy actually is. His cardio and gas tank are infinite, and he will stay in your face the whole night. The real question is, Does Tyron have it in him to put the lights out? Just some food for thought, I’ll be posting to this blog with any and all MMA news. Rock’d the podcast is currently being figured out due to the corona virus complications, its hard to meet up with my cohost. I hope you guys enjoyed my first of many blogs, and please stay safe in this crazy world we live in. Until next time.