Laying Down Leather #10: Bellator 238, RIZIN, and Special Announcement!

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Laying Down Leather, the casual blog post discussing my thoughts on events throughout the past week. There’s a lot to discuss this week so let’s jump in.

Before the MMA thoughts, I have a very special announcement. On February 3rd, I will launch my new MMA news site, Knockdown News! This will be my final week doing MMA coverage on, with the coverage switching next week.

It feels like a new chapter to me. One where I can continue to do what I love and hopefully reach more people. Also, I have many new ideas for the site. Some I’ve already unveiled at, and some will be rolled out in the coming months.

Anyway, no more about me…


I did not catch much MMA this week due to my work. But, I am slowly working through the week.

Cris Cyborg had a successful Bellator debut on Saturday, stopping Julia Budd in the fourth round. The fight was amazing to me as it was another example of the nonstop pace that Cyborg can work. To say it’s impressive is an understatement.

Read: Cris Cyborg Claims Bellator Featherweight Championship, Stopping Budd In Four Rounds

I’m happy that Darrion Caldwell advanced into the next round. It sucks to see Adam Borics take his first loss as a pro, but obviously, we will see him again. Caldwell versus McKee in the next round should be really fun. I wonder how long we’ll have to wait to see that. Hopefully enough time for me to decide who I think will win.

Read: Darrion Caldwell Advances In Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix With First Round Stoppage

Um, I think many expected Sergio Pettis to have a good debut in Bellator, but did many expect that? That was pretty, well, uh, brutal for his opponent.

Unrelated to Bellator, but I watched CES on Friday and quite enjoyed it. I have not followed CES closely in the past, but they put on some good fights and had a pretty good television product for a regional MMA promotion. I’ll check them out again soon.

Read the full coverage of CES 60

RIZIN announced many fights for RIZIN 21, and I have a few thoughts.

The elephant in the room is that it’s a weak card. And while this could change, it currently lacks any of the promotion’s major stars. This wasn’t a shocker to me since everyone just fought a month ago.

With that being said, I’m happy to see Roque Martinez and Kyle Aguon on the card. The representation of Guam in JMMA is such an interesting crossover.

What’s Ahead

This week I’ll have my late full scouting reports of UFC on ESPN+ 24 and Bellator 238 out on the site. Before switching over to Knockdown News on Monday, I’ll have live coverage of ONE Championship on Friday morning.

Laying Down Leather will continue as a Monday morning series on Knockdown News.

Have a great week!


Laying Down Leather #8: UFC 246

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Laying Down Leather, the casual blog post discussing my thoughts on events throughout the past week. Happy Martin Luther King day.


I watched three MMA events this weekend, those being Future MMA 11, LFA 80 and of course UFC 246. I’ll get to UFC in a second.

Future MMA was a fun card with some real exciting fights. Honestly, LFA wasn’t worth watching, mostly because of the horrible reffing throughout.

UFC was a weak card on paper, but in general was fun to watch. Maybe I am giving it more credit cause I haven’t watched a UFC show in quite a while. It’s possible.

Three Stars

Star 1: Conor McGregor

Many people were confident that Conor McGregor would come back and beat Donald Cerrone. With that being said, not many predicted that he would win in 40 seconds. Actually, Straight Blast Gym member James Gallagher got it perfectly right a few months back, but besides him not many saw it ending that way. Without a scratch on him, McGregor should be seen again in 2020

Star 2: Drew Dober

Drew Dober was the most discussed name from the UFC 246 undercard, stopping Nasrat Haqparast in the first round. The impressive win deservedly gave him some press. Unfortunately, the referee gave Haqparast one too many chances at the end, letting him eat more than 10 unanswered shots.

Star 3: Alexey Oleinik

The gassed and slow moving Alexey Oleinik had some trouble against Maurice Greene, but nonetheless got it done within two rounds. I can’t put it any better, so I’ll borrow the words of Mike Bohn by saying he’s the “Vince Carter of MMA.”

Fight of the Night: Roxanne Modafferi vs. Maycee Barber

The classic veteran versus up-and-comer booking for Roxanne Modafferi versus Maycee Barber proved to be entertaining. Upsetting the Vegas odds which put her at +550, Roxanne Modafferi beat Maycee Barber in a bloody and dominant fashion. Also, props to Barber, who endured a torn ACL and becoming a mess, showing pure toughness. With that being said, a case could be made that her corner or Barber herself should have thrown in the towel. For the many possible first losses a fighter could experience, Barber went through a pretty good one.

This week, I’ll have some articles leading up to Bellator 238 and UFC on ESPN+ 4, which take place this weekend. And of course expect coverage of those events afterwards as well. Sadly, not live due to work.

A little side note. No more cryptic stuff, folks. Next week on Laying Down Leather, I’ll announce the next big project I’ll be undertaking, which starts in February. Stay tuned.

Have a great week.

Laying Down Leather #8: ONE, New Year Dash, and More!

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Laying Down Leather, the casual blog post discussing my thoughts on events throughout the past week.


The sole MMA event I watched this weekend was ONE Championship. It was a fast and fun little card. I wasn’t a fan of how the first two fights weren’t available to watch in Canada (and the USA I think?), but oh well. I’m very happy that I get to watch on Youtube for free.

Here’s my three stars:

  1. Rodtang Jitmuangnon

Obviously, it’s worth giving credit to Rodtang’s performance in the main event over Jonathan Haggerty. Rodtang was able to put away to his rematched foe in three rounds, not needing scorecards like their fight before. Body shots galore!

2. Stamp Fairtex

Stamp Fairtex wasn’t given the hardest opponent possible, but she did put on a phenomenal performance in the co-main slot. She continued to be a dominant and very entertaining fighter, dancing on the way to the ring. Like seriously, the dancing she did would gas some people out before the fight.

3. Raimond Magomedaliev

Getting his first win in ONE finally, Raimond Magomedaliev put on a very good performance over Joey Pierotti. Doing lots of damage in the clinch, he put an end to the fight after putting Pierotti in a guillotine choke. It was a performance that showed he deserves to be in ONE.

Fight of the Night: Adam Noi vs. Victor Pinto (Kickboxing)

The fight of the night has to go to Adam Noi and Victor Pinto. The fast-paced three-round fight seemingly never slowed down. It was a close one to score, as both fighters were having their moments. I highly recommend people find this fight and watch it.

Read the live coverage of ONE Championship: A New Tomorrow here.


I watched NJPW’s New Year Dash earlier this week.

Jushin “Thunder” Liger’s retirement ceremony was happy and sad. Sad because of course he’s leaving, but happy because it was a very positive moment. And honestly, this was the best way to retire. He didn’t need to retire (to our knowledge), but he chose to under his own terms. Nothing is more sad than someone being forced to retire, but we didn’t have to see that. Enjoy retirement, Liger.

I’m very invested in this KENTA versus Tetsuya Naito rivalry. Looks very exciting.

I think I’ll skip out on watching the Fantastica Mania tour sadly. I’ve been too busy with work and school, and honestly, it started without me noticing. Oh well!

Upcoming Work

Sad news, but I will not be covering UFC 246 live. However, I’ll have some content being put out leading up to the fight night. And, I’ll have a report out the next day of the whole card.

I have some fun little projects I’m working on right now that should see their debut on this site later this year. I’ll talk about it more in coming weeks.

As usual, more stuff will be put on as well too. The K-pop Awards are still being worked on.

Laying Down Leather #6: UFC 240, RIZIN 17 & Gervonta Davis!


On Saturday I watched UFC 240 and RIZIN 17 back-to-back. It was quite an experience. I had never watched a RIZIN show start to finish live, and I would say I enjoyed it. Of course, I can’t do it for every show, but it was fun to do it for this one.

UFC 240 was pretty good. While the main card was mostly dull, the co-main and main event were fun to watch. Max Holloway put on a good performance, as did Cris Cyborg and her prospect opponent Felicia Spencer. The prelims had some really fun fights, with Canadians Gillian Robertson, Hakeem Dawodu and Gavin Tucker having great bouts.

I was disappointed how long on the card Deiveson Figueiredo versus Alexandre Pantoja was, as it was two high ranked flyweights facing off. Also, it was an exciting bout. The show lacked star power apart from it’s final acts, but it still put on a good show.

You can see the full report of UFC 240 here.

I have quite a lot of thoughts on RIZIN so bare with me here. Let’s start with the two women’s fights first. I was disappointed in KING Reina’s performance. Not that I expect her to be an amazing fighter, but her bizarre gimmick makes her someone you want to see go to the top. Seo Hee Ham’s performance was amazing, with her finish taking full advantage of the PRIDE rules that RIZIN allows. Also, it was cool to see her wear the outfit she used to wear in DEEP Jewels as opposed to what she wears in Road FC.

I wanted Jake Heun and Vitaly Shemetov to win, so I was pretty split on that fight. Obviously, the cut stoppage bummed me out. Roberto de Souza, Ali Abdulkhalikov and Johnny Case had good performances, but their opponents are too old to be in there, man. I don’t know the status of Satoru Kitaoka, but I am worried for him after the finish to his bout where he was carried off in a gurney.

I usually love the kickboxing on the RIZIN cards, but there wasn’t much to see in the two bouts tonight. Ivan Shtyrkov looks terrifying, but his highlight reel didn’t show in his performance.

While I like Ulka Sasaki, I have to give credit to how good the finishing sequence from Shintaro Ishiwatari was. The other bantamweight match was the best fight that went the distance, as Yuki Motoya and Hiromasa Ogikubo were very evenly matched. Motoya’s final round was electric.

The bad blood main event between Mikuru Asakura and Yusuke Yachi wasn’t as good as we expected, but still not bad. The finishing exchange was cool on Asakura’s behalf. This was Yachi’s fight to lose, and now makes it his third loss in a row.

You can see the full report for RIZIN 17 here.


Gervonta Davis’ victory over Ricardo Nunes was an expected and quick one. I don’t have much more to say about it since it was just a showcase bout.

You can see the report for this fight here.

This Week On The Site And Beyond!

This week I’ll be able to cover the UFC Fight Night. Along with that will be my usual music writing at Have a good week.

Laying Down Leather #5: Heavyweight Dream Booking, The Korean Zombie and More!

After a short absence due to high school exams, Laying Down Leather is back for another issue. For those who are first-time readers, Laying Down Leather is a series where I discuss my opinions on the numerous topics I cover on many websites. Let’s get started.


This weekend UFC held an event in Greenville, South Carolina. Overall it was a fun show. Shows that have tons of decision finishes are sometimes boring, but I didn’t find much difficulty with watching this show. Besides the main event, my two favourite moments were the opening fight between Deron Winn and Eric Spicely, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik leaving no doubt in only nine seconds.

Chan Sung Jung AKA “Korean Zombie” had nothing short of an explosive victory of Renato Moicano in the main event. The overhand right he landed at the start was a thing of beauty, with the bout ending shortly after to nobodies surprise. I haven’t seen a ton of The Korean Zombie in my lifetime, but I haven’t ever not enjoyed a bout of his. Consider me a fan.


While I didn’t cover it last week, I did cover Tyson Fury’s victory over Tom Schwartz. Not only was Fury’s in-ring skill showcased, with his finishing sequence being amazing along with the numerous punches he dodged when up against the ropes, but his personality was also put on display. His serious walk through the hall followed with the “Living In America” themed walkout made him look like a star. I know the heavyweight division is a whole mess right now, but I really want to see him versus Deontay Wilder next.

Speaking of the heavyweights, I had a thought about them this week. This is pure fantasy booking since Dillian Whyte is scheduled for a fight in a month, but if he wasn’t, I’d rather see Whyte versus Anthony Joshua 2 to decide who faces Andy Ruiz Jr. Whyte has had an amazing run since losing to Joshua back in 2015, picking up nine wins in a row. It would be a fun way to shoehorn Whyte into a scenario he deserves to be a part of but isn’t being included in.

Recently Showtime put their documentary on Mauro Ranallo titled “Bipolar Rock ‘N’ Roller” on Youtube for free. I watched it when it came out and I highly recommend it. It shows Ranallo’s struggle with mental health, more specifically bipolar disorder. The doc shows how mental health isn’t glamorous, but it’s important and affects everyone. He’s been a longtime mental health advocate throughout his career and this movie showed why it’s such an important issue to him.


I’m happy to announce I’ll be reviewing the G1 Climax 29 shows this summer. Starting on July 6th, I’ll be reviewing the shows as they come out. I’ve been very excited for this tournament and can’t wait to see how it plays out. The lineup is stacked, with the A block looking amazing. The additions of KENTA and Jon Moxley offer some fresh matchups.

This Week on The Site and Beyond!

I plan to put out a lot of music content this week, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Besides that, expect coverage of the Saturday UFC show in Minneapolis, maybe some boxing coverage and some different stuff. I have a lot of ideas I will be testing out in the summer. See ya around.

Laying Down Leather #2: RIZIN, Haney’s KO Win and More!

Good morning and welcome to the second episode of “Laying Down Leather,” where I give my thoughts on numerous subjects in the many facets of sport and entertainment that I cover.

Just a housekeeping note before we get into the article, I didn’t write much this week because I was very busy with work and school projects. It might be like that for a few weeks. Even though I didn’t write many articles, I sure do have some thoughts. Let’s get started


I only had the realization recently that a new RIZIN event is this weekend. It’s a pretty heavy show kickboxing wise but also has some good MMA bouts. I’m excited to see Ayaka Hamasaki versus Jinh Yu. Also, after Kanna Asakura and Roque Martinez have picked up wins in the DEEP promotion, they head back to RIZIN for their own matchups. Other names worth highlighting are Tofik Musaev, Topnoi Tiger Muay Thai, Yusaku Nakamura and promotion veteran Daron Cruickshank.

Speaking of RIZIN, it was announced recently that Shoot Boxing promotion star and RIZIN fan favourite RENA will make her American debut at Bellator 222. She will face Lindsey VanZandt, who looks like decent competition for her. She has less fighting experience than RENA but looks like a good match style-wise as she only has decision and striking pro finishes. The Madison Square Garden card looks stacked already, with Kyoji Horiguchi and Darrion Caldwell running back their New Year’s Eve bout. Veteran fighters Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida are scheduled to main event the show.

Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith will square off in Sweden this upcoming weekend too. I don’t know what’s next for whoever wins this fight since both of these guys have lost to the current champion Jon Jones quite decisively. Anyways, I think this goes to Gustafsson easily.


Around the start of the week, I caught a replay of Billy Joe Saunders defeating Shefat Isufi in a bout that earned him the WBO Super Middleweight Championship. I scored the bout 119-109 for Saunders, giving Istufi the 6th round. None of the judges shared a common ground score-wise, but winner-wise we were all in agreement. I can’t say it was the most exciting fight, but whatever. The venue, Lamex Stadium, was cute.

I also watched the second semi-final event for this season of the World Boxing Super Series. It included Naoya Inoue defeating Emmanuel Rodriguez and Josh Taylor advancing into the finals of their weight divisions. Inoue had a quick performance, getting a stoppage victory in the second, while Taylor went all 12 rounds. I scored the fight in his favour 115-111, with a two knockdown round in the 6th making it not as close of a bout. These bouts were amazing, but WBSS’ production quality is not something I’m the biggest fan of.

The final show I watched this week was DAZN’s broadcast of Devin Haney versus Antonio Moran. The fight was all Haney, being up 60-53 before the 7th round when he landed an absolutely nasty overhand right to knock down Moran and end the bout. This was a fun little show, with Haney being someone who is worth watching.

I didn’t catch the PBC or Top Rank broadcast on Saturday, but I will later this week and report back about it.


I didn’t catch all of AEW’s “Double or Nothing” show, but from what I’ve seen it looks like a big success. They’re set to do a show called “All Out” in August at the Sears Center, using the same venue that they did for “All In” last year. While that’s exciting, what interests me now is when they will implement TV content. How will they tape it? How long will the show be and when during the week will it air? These are all details that will be interesting to see.

This Week On The Site and Beyond!

I feel somewhat behind on Produce X 101 episodes recently but hope to catch up after writing my episode four article this week. Keep an eye out for that. I’m planning on getting some other things out music related, along with a recap of the Pancrase event from this past weekend. This week is hard to talk about ahead of time because school might be busy. So with that being said, stuff will come out so keep an eye out!

Laying Down Leather #1: Wilder’s Quick Win, Double or Nothing and More!

For the most part, I try to keep my opinion out of the articles I write. For the events I cover and the news stories I write about MMA and Boxing, I do my best to call it down the middle. As an attempt to have an outlet to put my opinions into articles, I’m planning on doing this series of articles: Laying Down Leather. I’ll discuss many topics and events that occurred recently, along with updates on upcoming projects on the website. Let’s get started.


Deontay Wilder picked up a swift and easy victory against Dominic Breazeale on Saturday in Brooklyn, New York. Most people expected a stoppage victory to go in the way of Wilder, but less expected it to be so sudden. For one, I was happy the ending was more like his victory over Artur Szpilka than it was like his second win over Bermane Stiverne. It’s fun to see Wilder win, but I’m not one to see someone get beaten that badly.

Prior to the fight, Wilder turned some heads because of his comments about wanting to “have a body on his record.” This was something he’s mentioned before, with the comments getting quite the reaction when he was on radio talk show “The Breakfast Club.” His comments went viral yet again last week, saying in a media scrum that “this (boxing) is the only sport where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time, it’s legal. So why not use my right to do so?” Honestly, I thought this was just a marketing thing. When someone says something that outrageous, you expect people to make a controversy about it. And there was. Do I legitimately think Wilder wants to murder a man in the ring? No. He’s fully aware of what he’s saying, and people are falling for it. Even if he was serious, he boxes within the rules of the competition, so should you hate the player or the game? But I feel he’s not serious, so that’s not a discussion worth having in my opinion.

The question of what’s next for Wilder will have to wait. The top tier contenders in Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are both tied up in their own bouts where they will fight someone of a much lower tier than themselves. When those are done with, maybe something can be made. Though we’ll not know for certain until an announcement is made.

I’ve been catching up on boxing from the past two weeks lately. On the weekend I watched Jarrett Hurd face Julian Williams in what was an upset of a fight. I scored it 117-110 for the challenger, Williams. I thought it was an entertaining contest despite it being somewhat on-sided.


Man, I’m happy there’s no UFC show this week. Even though last weekend’s UFC Fight Night wasn’t had numerous first-round stoppages which made it a quick viewing, I’m just starting to feel burnt out. On top of that, I went 2-11 for predictions on the show, maybe the worst I’ve ever done for a show (my biggest achievement so far this year is going 9-1 on the RIZIN 15 card). I assume part of why this card didn’t make me all too excited was its lack of name value.

In the main event of the show, Kevin Lee won all of the rounds until he hit a brick wall and gave up the fight. On my scorecard, the first three rounds went his way. He was working harder than Rafael dos Anjos and was winning every round. But why he was out-working him was because he didn’t pace himself. The finish of the fight is almost sad because of how defenceless Lee looked. He shot for a takedown, which RDA reversed and put into an arm triangle with ease. Maybe Lee should take a step down from five round fights, as this was the fifth fight in a row he took that was scheduled for all five.

I doubt I need to tell any of you this, but Michel Pereira’s performance was possibly the highlight of the night. From his emotional walkout to his in-fight antics, to his brutal victory, he’s hard to root against. While they are entertaining, maybe it was for the better that he left moonsaults back in his Road FC days.

I’ve started watching old UFC events through Fight Pass. I plan to make a series on this website, recapping events in a news report style whilst also putting my opinion into the articles. Should be a fun thing that I’ll try to make similar to my “09 Revision” for WWE that is still a work in progress. I plan to write quite a bit ahead of time before publishing the series. I’ll put up updates, but the plan right now is to start publishing in the first week of July.


As of late I’ve not been interested in WWE. I’ve kept up with storylines through podcasts and news stories, but other than that the last time I tuned in was on Wrestlemania. From what I’ve heard, I’m not missing much.

While my interest in WWE has been down, I’m pretty pumped for AEW’s “Double or Nothing” event on Saturday. I’ll be working while it happens, but I’ll watch it the following day. When you look at card you can tell the show has the potential to deliver. More than anything else, I want to see people like Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks and many others wrestle after being absent from TV and computer screens for quite some time. Since the announcement of this event, the wait has been long. But soon that wait will end.

This Week on The Site and Beyond!

For this week on the website, I plan to write only a little. School is ramping up as the year is coming to a close, and I know there is a few assignments that I’ll need to put some real time into this week. I want to write more smaller news pieces, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Pancrase is on the weekend, but like I did last time with their show, I’ll most likely have the report on it out on the weekdays. For, I’ll write the third episode recap of Produce X 101, and if I can find the time, another article on top of that.