Looking for Killers: What Does it Take to be an Ultimate Fighter?

mma, ufc, tuesday night contender series, dana white, Brendan Loughnane, mmaoddsbreaker, wharton
June 23rd, 2019
Brad Wharton

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series returned with a bang this week. Now in its third season, the show follows in the footsteps of ‘Lookin’ For A Fight’ as an introductory platform to the UFC for regional standouts looking to get ahead of the pack. Even more so than White’s previous vehicle, DWTNCS is the…

September 19th, 2018
Brad Wharton

By Brad Wharton @MMABrad48 The MMA community was shocked to learn of the death of Norifumi ‘KID’ Yamamoto in the early hours of Tuesday, September 18th 2018. KID (capitalised in romanised Japanese to signify that his nickname took priority over his surname) was a true ‘ace’ of Japanese MMA; a title and responsibility bestowed on…

April 28th, 2018
Brad Wharton

By Brad Wharton @MMABrad48 They were heavyweight MMA’s Holy Trinity; the indomitable Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, the clinical Mirko Cro-Cop and the mighty Fedor Emelianenko. Like Cerberus barring the gates of Hades, they once stood guard over the upper echelons of the heavyweight ranks without challenge. In their primes they’d largely only lost to each other…

November 4th, 2017
Brad Wharton

It’s almost unheard of in any sport, let alone one as short-term and impactful as fighting, for an elite individual to take a sabbatical during their competitive prime and return to enjoy a similar level of success. It’s also almost unheard of, in general terms, for anyone to be as good at fighting as Georges…

August 6th, 2017
Brad Wharton

Over the past few days, the story of Daniel Cormier’s UFC 214 defeat has stolen the spotlight from Jon Jones’ return and redemption. While the media has been largely respectful of the former UFC champion’s soul-crushing second loss at his nemesis’ hands, the community as a whole has not. No small number of fans have…

June 21st, 2017
Brad Wharton

News of the biggest prizefight of a generation is still hot off the presses, but already weeks and months of whispered speculation and murmured dissection have risen into a cacophony of deliberation, as last Wednesday night (June 14, 2017) saw Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor finally confirmed for August 26. The talking heads have barely taken…

May 3rd, 2017
Brad Wharton

The greatest of all-time… It’s a subjective accolade, but poll any group of MMA fans from any era and the vast majority will offer up either Georges St Pierre or Anderson Silva as MMA’s theoretical “man to beat.” In late 2016, news of the French-Canadian’s return fueled whispers of UFC president Dana White’s “one that got…

August 22nd, 2016
Brad Wharton

It’s very rare that anything lives up to the weight of expectation any more… movies, videogames… especially fights. In this social, digital age, our streams of consciousness are all interconnected for months and weeks of build up. We’ve discussed, debated and deconstructed every angle, from the feasible to the infeasible, the sublime to the ridiculous….

August 20th, 2016
Brad Wharton

It’s another marquee UFC fight week and with it – like clockwork – the influx of ‘normals’. The rank and file of humanity who dare to enjoy our sport on a casual basis. In many ways it feels like a throwback; a resurgent echo of the days when MMA was a secret, special club that…

May 6th, 2016
Brad Wharton

By Brad Wharton @MMABrad48 This Sunday, the iconic Octagon will land for the first time in a country known as one of the crown jewels of the world’s combat sports scene. Holland is a Kickboxing Mecca, second only to Thailand itself when it comes to developing legendary exponents of the striking arts. The nation has churned out more…

February 26th, 2016
Brad Wharton

By Brad Wharton It’s tough to imagine a time when an Anderson Silva-helmed Saturday night spectacular would be overshadowed in the MMA bubble, let alone by something as supposedly trivial as a press conference. But when this week’s page in the history book (or Wikipedia) is written, 20 minutes of glorious televised shit-talking in a UFC…

February 13th, 2016
Brad Wharton

By Brad Wharton Some people operate on a different wavelength. Pioneers, geniuses, game-changers; they are of a different mental make up compared to the average person and the mark they leave on the world reflects that. Different doesn’t necessarily mean good, though. Some don’t so much leave a mark as they do a stain. Jason…

November 15th, 2015
Brad Wharton

November 14th, 2015. The night that one kick changed everything… or at least it has the potential to. It’s why we love MMA; a sport equal ­parts thrilling and cruel where the trajectory of fights and careers can change in an instant. Ronda Rousey, the darling of women’s MMA and one of the most engaging characters…

June 18th, 2015
Brad Wharton

Many (but not too many) years ago, I traveled to East London’s Troxy, home of UCMMA; the spiritual successor to Cage Rage. I don’t recall who headlined the show, but I’ll never forget the seventeen year old kid about halfway up the card who pulled off the evening’s most impressive and memorable feat. As I…

April 21st, 2015
Brad Wharton

A brash Irishman goes from being the European hipsters’ choice to one of the sport’s more prolific stars in the space of just 18 months. A pretty blond girl, rawer that sushi, becomes an overnight sensation, opening the show on Fox TV to millions of viewers despite having a record that could – quite literally…

April 16th, 2015
Brad Wharton

“Cro-Cop got Cro-Cop’d!!!” I remember the words staring back at me from a forum thread as clearly today as when they first burned themselves into my retinas; April 21st, 2007. I had skipped the UFC’s first foray into the UK since 2004 when – just 24 hours earlier – I’d learned that Bob Sapp had…

April 7th, 2015
Brad Wharton

It was a UFC journey like no other; starting in Brazil, traveling north through America and culminating in Dublin, MMA’s Emerald City. It was – if you believe the words of a brash young Irishman – a metaphor for a journey to be travelled later this year, as a few pounds of gleaming metal and…

March 21st, 2015
Brad Wharton

Friday Night’s (March 20, 2015) Titan FC 33 introduced North American audiences to a new star from the British Isles. Brett ‘The Pikey’ Johns is 23, a former Cage Warriors champion and firm fan-favourite on this side of the pond. Sound familiar? A few years ago I visited Wales for the first time. I went…

February 28th, 2015
Brad Wharton

It only takes one. That’s the allure of heavyweight MMA; it encapsulates the sport’s almost cruelly unpredictable nature and magnifies it ten-fold. “Anything can happen in those tiny gloves” is the often heard refrain; add a pair of hulking, 250lb behemoths into the equation and anything often does. This potential for drama is what makes…

February 8th, 2015
Brad Wharton

It was supposed to be the UFC’s comeback year. After the horror show that was 2014, with event cancellations, an injury epidemic that wiped out or altered nearly all of their originally advertised Pay Per View main events, depressing TV ratings and an impending lawsuit that could change the business forever, 2015’s marquee first quarter…

January 27th, 2015
Brad Wharton

Amidst the fading chatter of McGregor-mania and Jon Jones’ recreational habits, another topic is slowly creeping onto the Twitter-sphere. At the end of the week, a pair of the finest fighters ever churned out by this young sport will go head-to-head on the biggest stage of them all. Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz – both…

January 21st, 2015
Brad Wharton

It’s 2015, and Mirko Cro Cop has – once again – signed with the UFC. He’ll turn 41 this year and for all intents and purposes, this is his third act on MMA’s grandest stage. But why are so many legends of MMA continually drawn back to the fight game? And what of the promoters…

January 14th, 2015
Brad Wharton

Boston reveres the Irish, and the Irish love Boston. After being founded by the English, Boston became the first stop for the initial wave of European immigrants, predominantly those from the Emerald Isle. For some, that bond is greater than others. Cathal Pendred was born in Boston; he left as a child but this week…

January 8th, 2015
Brad Wharton

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) needed Jon Jones to win last Saturday night. Business is not booming and for all intents and purposes, ‘Bones’ is their most valuable cash cow in an increasingly barren field. Even with the recent revelations surrounding his drug use, ‘Bones’ is still the man the UFC wants at the top…

December 25th, 2014
Brad Wharton

Rashid Magomedov picked up a third win on MMA’s grandest stage last weekend. It was a workmanlike performance punctuated by a dramatic last-gasp finish; gritty, with a flash of brilliance. The Dagestani MMA machine rumbles on, but where have these men come from and why are so many of them making a mark? A trip through Dagestan to…

December 15th, 2014
Brad Wharton

Do fighters sometimes need to be saved from themselves? That’s a question Brendan Schaub was forced to confront this past week, courtesy of some brutally honest tough love from one of his best friends. Unfortunately for Schaub his friend has one of the biggest voices in the wider MMA community and it was a pill…