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Author: Michael Zand

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SIYAR BAHADURZADA ON PAULO THIAGO, AFGHANISTAN, THE UFC

Siyar Bahadurzada makes his debut for the UFC this weekend.

Born in Afghanistan, he relocated to Holland as a teenager when his family decided to leave their homeland because it was becoming too dangerous. But Siyar swapped one war zone for another as he quickly immersed himself in the Dutch kickboxing scene.

That eventually led to him joining Golden Glory and it was a fruitful relationship until recently, when a dispute over money led to him leaving the team and striking out on his own. Now training with the legendary Thai-boxing coach Lucien Carbin in Amsterdan, Siyar faces Paulo Thiago in Sweden on Saturday night.

So, UFC debut this weekend and its against Paulo Thiago. Your thoughts?

Man, Thiago is a great fighter. He always brings it, great stand up, great ground. Always wants to fight, so he is a perfect opponent. My fighting style is savage - violent, ferocious. I don’t hold anything back, everything I throw is with bad intentions. Every time I connect I put people to sleep, whatever I throw is with bad intentions. I am not used to holding back. When I train I throw every punch, every kick every knee hard, and that is how I fight.


Some people trip over your name when trying to pronounce it; Afghan names aren’t easy for Europeans! Aside from the name, are you still closely tied to Afghanistan? Why did you leave there?

Well there were some problems which forced us to leave Afghanistan but even being far from Afghanistan, I still love Afghanistan and fight for Afghanistan. Because we have had a really bad reputation in the media worldwide and now I have the chance to set some things right and show Afghanistan in a good light.

You see terrible things about Afghanistan but Afghanistan is not terrible! The media manipulate the news, everyone knows that - you know that, I know that - but Afghanistan is not like that, its not like everything you see on the news. It is much more. If you go to the history books you can read about the emperors in Afghanistan and what kind of people we are, what kind of history we have and what kind of warriors we are.

We are actually like everybody else, we are a hospitable people, we are loyal, we are honourable. We are just as good as anybody else but the media put us in a dark light over us in recent years. Right now we Afghans, the sportsmen, are working hard to change that picture.


Afghanistan has been war-torn for so long; do you still have hopes that it can be turned around?

Hope is the last thing I will give up, so of course there is hope for Afghanistan. And if I do my best on my part, out of the love for Afghanistan, if I do whatever I can and I don’t expect anything in return like everyone who is raiding Afghanistan, it will be a better place soon.


There are segments of the American crowd that are infamously ‘patriotic’ (by which I mean, the chant ‘USA’ at every opportunity). Do you fear you Afghan heritage might go over badly with them?

When I fight I don’t fight like ‘Afghanistan vs. USA’, I don’t want to fight that fight. I am fighting the bad image of my country. I want to be a role model, I want to put a positive person in the media so that people can see Afghanistan is not everything you see in the news, that is my goal.

And I want to inspire the little kids in Afghanistan who never had a chance. I want to give them an opportunity and show them that if they try their best they can be something. If you have nothing else you can train and get to the top of the world in sports. That is my goal.

In 2010, your name was in the MMA headlines because you had signed an exclusive deal with Strikeforce. Your debut was highly anticipated - but then never happened; Strikeforce claimed the contract wasn’t valid. What actually happened?

Well my future is my brighter than my dark past, so actually the brightness in my future pulls me more than the darkness in my past. What is Strikeforce, is this an organisation? I don’t even know. They don’t exist for me. I am looking forward to the UFC. The UFC is the place where I am right now, the UFC is the place where I will stay and make my point.


What is that point, to take a run at the belt?

I know I can be champion. That’s why I am doing this - I would not be wasting my time if I knew I wouldn’t be champion. As Muhammad Ali said, ‘in order to be a champion you have to have the will and you have to have the skill, but the will should be stronger than the skill’ - and I have that will to be the champion. I will be the champion.


You have a strong striking pedigree and the UFC is well stocked with fighters who are primarily wrestlers. Is that going to present a problem?

Well yeah, there are a lot of wrestlers in the US and they are pretty good at wrestling. I could never be as good at wrestling as they are - but they can never be as good at striking as I am. So its always this… game… who imposes his game on the other one? Considering my abilities I think I can hang with those wrestlers easy and I can bang with them on the feet, easy.

Its all about the tactics and strategy in the fight. If you are a smart fighter and you go there and have a good gameplan, you will go there and come out victorious. Knowing that I have power in my hands and I have been training with wrestlers all the time, it wont be a factor for me.


Thanks for talking to us Siyar; any message for the fans?

Thanks very much for following me on Twitter and Facebook and I would like to thank Fighters Only for taking this interview. Fans, I am so excited to fight for you guys and hopefully you guys will like my fighting style. I will fight to finish. I am looking forward to fighting April 14 in Sweden and hopefully you guys will watch.

 

Source: Fighters Only
By: John Joe Regan

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UFC 146: Mark Hunt Discusses Possible Bout With Junior Dos Santos, Alistair Overeem's Failed Test

Possible shot at JDS:

"I have no idea. I think maybe, they want to see a feel good story of the year. I think people like to see an underdog. I mean, I wasn't event wanted in the UFC and here we are talking about getting a title shot. I think people like the feel good story. No one's told me nothing. I'm always last to find out. I'm still looking to fight Struve, but if I get a title shot then that is better for me and that will be thanks to the 'Army of Doom.' It's not up to me but the chances are good. I think the 'Army of Doom' has been bombing Dana Whites twitter. But whatever happens, it is what it is. But I won't be disappointed and Struve is a tough opponent and I will be moving on and when it is my time to get a title shot, I will. You can say whatever you want, but the UFC, at the end of the day they are going to do what they want, it's their call."

On how he matches up against "Cigano:"

"I match up good against anyone so I do match up against him. It's good to be underestimated and be the underdog, it's great, it gives me more drive and more fire. When someone tells you can't beat anyone or are not good enough, I get motivated."

Alistair Overeem and PED's in MMA:

"Drugs in all sports is a big problem. It's a cutthroat business, people take this shit just to get by. I don't use that shit, but when Alistair takes that shit or whoever takes it they just screw themselves out. Like when Barnett screwed himself out of the fight with Fedor. But who am I too judge anybody. I don't take that shit and no one else should. If they do, that's on them, Alistair got caught,that's his problem and now he's dealing with it and everything that Alistair has done is meaningless now. At the end of the day he just got caught cheating, so what's the deal? I lost to him, so did he use that shit when I was fighting him? That's on him, he has to live with that shit not me. It's not my position to judge him, he has to look himself in the mirror. At the end of the day, I don't give a crap who's taking what. The steroids are not going to help them when I hit them. Take as much as you like, I don't care."

 

 

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James Head looking to finish Papy Abedi quickly at UFC on Fuel TV 2

This Saturday's UFC on Fuel TV 2 card in Sweden will feature a Middleweight bout between James Head and Papy Abedi. Head is confident about his chances heading into his fight against Papy Abedi.

"Right now I am training in Oklahoma City with a strong group of fighters at Lovato Jiu-Jitsu, I have Bellator Fighter Jared Hess, World Jiu_Jitsu Champion Rafael Lovato Jr., Matt Grice as well as some local guys who are solid.

I'm not worried about being out of action as I was training really hard for a proposed fight at UFC 138 before I tore the MCL in my knee. I've been in the gym every day getting ready to fight. I'm just excited to get back in there. He's obviously a big strong guy, I watched the fight against Thiago at UFC 138 and he definitely has holes that I feel I can exploit.

I feel I have the advantage in the stand-up and he showed once he got hurt he was looking for a way out on the ground, but Thiago got the choke on him and put him away. I think I stack up well against him in all aspects of MMA. I plan on putting him to sleep. One way or another I'm looking to end this fight early. The UFC pays us to show and to win; they don't pay us any overtime!"

Head will be coming off a lengthy layoff since fighting at UFC 131 last July, where he was involved in a war with Nick Ring before being finished late in the last round. Head was scheduled to have a fight at UFC 138 before tearing his MCL, and is now aching to get back into the Octagon. He knows that his opponent Abedi holds more overseas experience than he does, but he is fully confident in his extensive training camp and will seek an early finish this Saturday night in Sweden.

 

By: Mike Drahota 

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WTF! Craaazy Mirko Crocop prank! Must see!

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Dennis Siver Predicts 2nd Round TKO, Talks 145 Debut and More

Change isn't always a bad thing.

In the case of rising UFC star Dennis Siver (19-8), it could be a great thing.

"This will be my first fight as a featherweight," Siver told Bleacher Report. "I have to get used to my new weight and I'm excited to see how I perform at 145."

Siver makes the transition to the featherweight division after winning four of his last five with his only loss coming to Donald Cerrone at UFC 137.

"The Menace" Siver is now slated to take on the experienced Diego Nunes (17-2) in a main card showdown when the UFC travels to Stockholm, Sweden on April 14th.

In order to be declared victorious in his 145-pound debut, Siver will need to forget about the past and focus on what lies ahead.

"You know, I'm coming off a tough loss. He (Cerrone) was the better man that night. He hurt me and finished me," said Siver. "Of course it was hard to swallow and I was really disappointed."

"But you come back stronger after a loss. So there is even more motivation to win this next fight," said Siver.

Despite never having fought at 145 pounds before, Siver has the advantage heading in.


In fact, this won't be the first time Siver has fought in the country of Sweden nor will it be a change in atmosphere.

Instead, Siver will travel just less than a day to arrive in Stockholm with no jet-lag.

The only challenge Siver will face is Nunes himself when the two square off in less than a week.

"I think Joe Silva did a great job in this fight. Diego and myself match up great but I think I'm physically stronger than him. My spinning back kick is also much more powerful," said Siver.

"I'm not scared of Diego or any of my opponents. The only thing I can say is let the best man win. He has a great heart and he loves to fight and bang," said Siver. "But I will do my best to beat him to satisfy my fans, my sponsors, and the UFC."

There's no telling how long these two will last inside the Octagon as they've combined for 25 finishes over the course of their careers.

However, if Siver's predictions are accurate, fans won't get to witness a third and final round of action.

"I predict that I will finish him with a 2nd round TKO."

 

By: Garrett Derr Source: MMAFighting

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Evans: Jones' style is 'fatherless'

 

Rashad Evans doesn't let personal dislike color his evaluation of light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones' evolution as a mixed martial artist over the past year in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

"He's gotten a lot better and he's gotten more confident," Evans says of his former teammate at the Albuquerque camp run by coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn. "Before he would just kind of do things randomly and just whatever, but now I see a bit of a pattern. I see that he's finding his style a little bit more."

Given the level of animosity you've expressed over the past year, how do you stop that from overcoming you in the fight so you can stick to your game plan?

I'm a professional and I just try to remember that at all times. There's going to be moments in the fight where I probably get a little bit lit more than others, but my uncle used to have some great advice. He used to tell me: "Boy, you lose your head and your a-- will follow."

So I try not to lose my head.

Last year you used the adjective "fatherless" when you described Jon's fighting style to me. Why is that necessarily a bad thing?

It's not necessarily a bad thing. But in some respects when you do have a fatherless style, you don't have a basis or understanding of why you're doing certain things. You just kind of do it for the hell of doing it.

But once you have a base for it, you bring a structure to it. Then you can make it look like you have a fatherless style, but you're making it fit into your program.

 

 

By:Sergio Non
Source: USAtoday

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Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten, along with Joe Rogan, Michael Schiavello, and Josh Barnett talk Alistair Overeem

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Alistair Overeem Files for Nevada Fighter's License, Will Be at April 24 Hearing

Alistair Overeem has filed an application for a new fighter's license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The news is confirmed by Keith Kizer, executive director of the commission, on Sunday. Kizer also said that he "assumes" Overeem will be in attendance for an April 24 hearing regarding his test failure for elevated testosterone to epitestosterone.

Kizer also said that Overeem has also not requested that his B-sample be tested.

When a fighter gives a urine sample during the drug screening process, his urine is divided into two samples. If the A-sample fails, the fighter has the option to request that the B-sample be tested. If the B-sample is clean, the fighter likely would not be punished.

Filing a license application is a risk for Overeem. If his application is denied due to the test failure, he likely would not be able to apply for a new license until April 2013.

Do you believe Overeem is clean? Perhaps he is doing TRT or some other medical treatment?

It's the same situation Josh Barnett found himself in with the California State Athletic Commission during the Affliction: Trilogy ordeal. Barnett wasn't technically suspended by the commission, but only because his license was expired. Barnett never applied for the license for fear that he would be denied, which would effectively suspend him from fighting for one year.

Things are getting interesting. It would seem—at least from the outside looking in—that Overeem is confident the commission will accept his explanation for his elevated testosterone levels. If he weren't absolutely confident in his defense, he wouldn't apply for a fighter's license for the reasons I stated above.

Overeem's job, reputation and at least one year's worth of earnings are on the line. If he is refused a license in Nevada, the UFC will not use him for shows in other parts of the world until he's served the one-year "suspension." They used Chael Sonnen - despite him not reapplying for a California license - because he served the full one year suspension. Overeem would not be extended the same grace.

If Overeem is released from the UFC due to this situation, he could fight in Japan. But most major American commissions - and Nevada falls squarely in this space - frown on fighters accepting fights in non-regulated countries when they are suspended in America. But if Overeem is denied a license and cannot re-apply for one year, he technically would not be suspended because he isn't a licensed fighter.

April 24 is going to be one interesting day.

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SFL 2 Fight Video: Alexander Shlemenko Stops Minowaman, Calls Out Hector Lombard

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Video: Todd Duffee KOs Neil Grove At Super Fight League 2

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