The Second Annual TuffGnarl.com MMA Awards

It can be argued with much substantiating evidence that 2015 was the best year yet for mixed martial arts. Seven UFC titles changed hands, legends and forgotten veterans of the sport made successful comebacks and further progress was made with longstanding problems such as weight cutting and performance enhancing drug use. Records, both in-cage and out, were broken. Now that we’re […]

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“MMA Matthew” Gaither strives to give Florida the combat sports coverage it deserves

Florida journalist Matthew Gaither’s dedication to covering mixed martial arts came about as organically and honestly as possible. The 29-year-old Tampa resident always had a natural penchant for the written word, however his focus tightened when he returned to the Sunshine State in 2008 and discovered that he lived across the street from a verifiable MMA star: the late former […]

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UFC 184: Rousey vs. Zingano – Shortcut Predictions for the Entire Card

  I’m breaking protocol this time around: less pictures, stats, odds and… well, words. Here are my predictions for every fight at UFC 184: Rousey vs. Zingano, in five sentences or less per fight. MAIN CARD—Pay-Per-View—10PM/7PM ET|PT (C) “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs. #1 “Alpha” Cat Zingano – Were this to have occurred when it was originally scheduled two years ago, I’d […]

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Best of the Squared Circle: A 2014 Wrestling Observer Awards Ballot

By the time you read this the annual awards issue of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter will be published. The Wrestling Observer Awards, which date back to 1980, are based on results of ballots submitted by subscribers of the newsletter. Aside from some awards that are exclusive to Japan, the Wrestling Observer Awards get more mainstream coverage that any other pro […]

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The Greatest Title Fights in UFC History Part One: Women’s Bantamweight

In this ongoing series for TuffGnarl.com, I am isolating a single UFC title fight from the annals of history and identifying it as, by far, the finest of the pack—the single greatest division-specific championship bout in UFC history. We’ll start off modestly in the organization’s youngest weight class, the women’s bantamweight division, and work our way up. Event: UFC 157: Rousey vs. […]

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Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson: 4 Ways the UFC Can Boost His Popularity

The sentiment leading up to UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso was resoundingly fervent, but, to employ an admittedly oxymoronic descriptor, anomalously uniform when regarding its main event. UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson—among the most talented, well-rounded, entertaining and consistently improving fighters in the entire organization—was once again being overshadowed by his supporting cast. This time, he was facing […]

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UFC Roundup: Analyzing Every Title Challenger (Part 2)

Alright folks, it’s been exactly one week since I began opining on the state of the UFC and its title pictures. In the first installment, we examined the women’s bantamweight division and the men’s flyweight and bantamweight categories and, suffice it to say, things looked outright grim for each class’ respective next title hopefuls, with no challenger exceeding a 15-percent likelihood […]

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UFC Roundup: Analyzing Every Title Challenger (Part 1)

It’s amazing how much things have changed in less than a year. Chris Weidman is now the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion after beating Anderson “The Spider” Silva not once, but twice. Renan Barao shed the “interim” modifier and became the undisputed champion when yet another injury prevented Dominick Cruz from returning for their unification bout. Johny Hendricks became the new welterweight champion […]

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WSOF 8’s Cody Bollinger: “If I Finish Tyson Nam, I’m Fighting for the Belt Next”

It’s New Year’s Day at 5:30 p.m. ET and I’m on the phone with Cody “Bam Bam” Bollinger, the 22-year-old bantamweight from Rancho Cucamonga, CA who skyrocketed to notoriety late last year when, as part of the cast of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate, he failed to make weight and subsequently was given the proverbial boot by […]

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UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva II — A Shocking Finish Confirms a New Era

Last night, at UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva II, in his first title defense against the man from whom he wrested the belt on July 6th earlier this year, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman retained his title when, in the second round, he checked a leg kick thrown by the long-reigning former champ, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, and Silva’s shin […]

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