UFC commentator/lead UFC play-by-play voice Jon Anik and former UFC fighter Kenny Florian preview Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Allen card and get picks from handicapper Brian Petrie.
The guys are also joined by commentator Teddy Atlas and MMA coach Ray Longo to recap last weekend’s UFC 287 event, including Israel Adesanya’s monumental win over Alex Pereira.
● 00:00:00 In this section, the hosts of the Anik and Florian Podcast discuss a special surprise that executive producer, Cody Merrow, found on eBay - an original Kodak paper photo of Kenny Florian from his high school soccer days in the late 80s/early 90s. It turns out that this was the photo that The Boston Herald used to depict Kenny as part of their All-Star soccer team. Kenny reminisces about his soccer haircut, favorite Adidas sweatshirt, and the various newspaper accolades he received during his high school days. Jon Anik also shares his own newspaper byline from the Milford Daily News in 2001.
● 00:05:00 The hosts discuss Adesanya’s mental toughness and willingness to take risks, citing his “say less, do more” mentality. They also draw comparisons to classic boxing matches, such as George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali.
● 00:10:00 Anik & Florian discuss Israel Adesanya’s proclamation that he was playing possum up against the fence during UFC 287, and alleged leg damage he sustained during the fight. Florian thinks Adesanya started backing up after his second leg strike and then decided to take the risk and play possum instead of getting hit with more calf kicks. The hosts agree that it was an excellent matchup to watch, and Adesanya did a fantastic job. They also mentioned that Adesanya walked up to the post-fight set after the fight and danced around with no issues, which means his injuries were not severe. Finally, Teddy Atlas joins the conversation and praises the hosts while discussing his podcast, role in the boxing world, and ESPN’s coverage of combat sports.
● 00:15:00 Anik & Florian discuss how mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes have approached Teddy Atlas with requests for film analysis and training. Although Atlas does not reveal specific names, he does mention that he has made a detailed fight plan for one high-profile athlete and spoke to him about it. Atlas emphasizes the importance of mental strength in combat sports and how it can make all the difference between victory and defeat. He also shares his insight on how fighters can overcome their opponents’ psychological games, citing examples of fighters who have previously struggled with certain opponents but ultimately prevailed through mental fortitude.
● 00:25:00 In this section, Teddy Atlas breaks down the fight between Pereira and Adesanya and how the latter was able to win with a knockout. When Pereira made a mistake and opened himself up by leading with a left, Adesanya took advantage by landing a punch behind his ear, which destroyed his equilibrium. Although the hammer fist in the end wasn’t necessary, Adesanya was in kill-or-be-killed mode mentally, as he knew that winning that fight was the key to him truly living, and not just existing.
● 00:30:00 Anik asks Teddy Atlas about the rarity of champions with a perfect balance of intelligence and technique, and Teddy responds by comparing the only two fighters he believes possess such qualities: Israel Adesanya and Muhammad Ali. Teddy explains that they both had “Supreme Confidence,” which is a rare characteristic that goes beyond just taking care of their families and making money. Finally, Anik asks Teddy if he would be willing to corner a fighter in the UFC, and Teddy responds that he would only do it if the fighter was a decent person and he believed he could actually help them get through a bump in the road.
● 00:35:00 In this section, Teddy Atlas shares some stories about how fighters, including Muhammed Ali, have reached out to him for advice before big fights. Atlas tells the story of how he helped motivate Ali before his fight against George Foreman by reminding him that he always has control over what happens and that the lie that he doesn’t is simply a mental trick. Atlas also gives credit to Foreman for becoming mentally stronger in his second stint as a fighter, leading to his success even at 45 years old.
● 00:40:00 Teddy Atlas recounts the story of how he gave advice to George Foreman on how to defeat Joe Frazier. He told Foreman to hit Frazier with his right hand to send a message that there would be no cooperation that night. Foreman followed the advice, and the message was received, leading to his victory. Later in the video, Atlas recommends his instructional videos to MMA fighters, as he has been working with Dynamic Striking and BJJ Fanatics for three years, creating 18 instructional videos on boxing.
● 00:45:00 Teddy Atlas discusses his upcoming family-geared UFC training video and the need for defensive training in MMA. He shares that he admires and respects the MMA athletes, but feels that a reflexive approach to the defensive component is lacking. He suggests drilling until it becomes second nature and reminds listeners that sparring should be controlled and monitored for safety. Ray Longo, famed MMA coach, then joins the conversation and agrees with Teddy’s points, but notes that he has seen fighters achieve what Teddy is talking about only through sparring.
● 00:50:00 Ray Longo and Teddy Atlas discuss the importance of teaching new habits in a calm environment to improve a fighter’s skills. They emphasize that moves are not difficult in and of themselves, but the danger involved in a fight makes them harder to execute. Therefore, they stress the need to remove the sparring component and create a pure teaching environment where fighters can learn without the added pressure of potential harm. By doing so, fighters can eliminate bad habits and develop critical skills to perform well in the ring.
● 00:55:00 Teddy Atlas discusses the current state of boxing and the issues that it faces, including the fact that the best boxers aren’t allowed to fight each other anymore. This results in the audience dwindling as fans don’t feel satisfied, and the sport doesn’t grow or evolve. He explains that it’s essential for the best fighters to fight against each other and not just navigate their way to the best record, as it’s only through fire testing and forging that fighters can become the Real Deal and succeed. He praises Dana White for his keen business acumen and his focus on creating quality products that people will enjoy, unlike many boxing promoters who only care about their group of fighters, keeping them undefeated, and maintaining their networks so that they get money.
● 01:00:00 In this section, Teddy Atlas and Ray Longo discuss the problems with the current state of Boxing. They mention the lack of top-quality fighters and the fact that there are too many options available to fighters, thus weakening them mentally. Furthermore, they claim that there are no teachers anymore, and fighters have to learn everything by themselves or through fighting.
● 01:05:00 Teddy Atlas points out that the healthiest time in his sport was back in the 80s because they had network TV that was free, and fighters actually fought each other, even the most talented ones, unlike today where most of the best fighters are avoiding each other, leaving the fans unsatisfied.
● 01:15:00 The Anik & Florian crew discuss the Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal fight at UFC 287. Burns won the fight relatively comfortably, demonstrating an improved timing and technical acumen when it came to takedowns. Masvidal, on the other hand, seemed to be slower than usual and was not seeing punches or entries into the legs with the same speed he used to. Though the hosts comment on other fights as well, this segment focuses on Jorge Masvidal’s retirement and Israel Adesanya’s incredible mental strength that allowed him to return to the Octagon after a recent loss.
● 01:20:00 In this section, Anik and Florian discuss the welterweight division and what comes next after the result of the Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal fight at UFC 287. According to Anik, it seems likely that Colby Covington will get the next fight against Leon Edwards, while the likes of Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns will have to wait. However, they also discuss the possibility of Burns being a backup for the title fight and note that Khamzat Chimaev leaving the division opens up opportunities for other contenders.
● 01:25:00 In this section, Teddy Atlas and Ray Longo discuss the challenges of balancing internal metrics and money when selecting fighters for a title fight. They speculate whether the UFC decision-makers see Belal Muhammad as the man who can carry the title and mention the difficulties Belal will face even if he beats Shavkat Rakhmonov and Gilbert Burns. Additionally, the commentators discuss the possibility of Khamzat Chimaev being the next to fight Israel Adesanya at 185 and how it could elevate Adesanya’s greatness.
● 01:30:00 The guys discuss Rob Font’s impressive win over Adrian Yanez, highlighting Font’s power and Yanez’s defensive weaknesses. They also give Yanez credit for his performance and note that he’s one win away from facing a top-six bantamweight in a major Main Event.
● 01:35:00 Brian Petrie joins the show to discuss the fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Chris Curtis, which was considered the fight of the night. Gastelum won the fight by unanimous decision, but there was an argument that Curtis won the second round. Nonetheless, the hosts and Curtis’ coaches stated that they were proud of how their fighter performed against Gastelum, who looked like a man on a mission. They added that this was Curtis’ biggest fight in his career, and he proved that he belonged in the UFC.
● 01:40:00 In this section, the hosts and guests of the podcast recap UFC 287, analyzing the performances of fighters such as Rodriguez and Rosa, Kevin Holland, Santiago Ponzinibbio, and others. They also give a shoutout to Sam Hughes for her victory over Jaqueline Amorim, acknowledging the importance of quality coaching in achieving such a victory. The hosts then move on to discussing the upcoming UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Allen event and make their picks for the first fight on the main card between Rafa Garcia and Clay Guida. While Garcia is favored to win, the panelists note that Guida still has a strong chin and cardio and may be able to pull off an upset.
● 01:50:00 In this section, the hosts discuss the upcoming UFC light heavyweight bout between Tanner Boser and Ion Cutelaba. Boser is making his UFC light heavyweight debut after having fought mostly as a heavyweight, while Cutelaba is a seasoned UFC fighter. While both fighters have their strengths, the hosts ultimately lean towards Boser due to his recent physique and volume, despite some question marks around his abilities at 205 lbs. The hosts also give their predictions for the upcoming fights between Billy Quarantillo and Edson Barboza.
● 02:00:00 Brian Petrie and Kenny Florian discuss their predictions for the upcoming fight between Max Holloway and Arnold Allen. While acknowledging the skills of Arnold Allen, the guys ultimately decide to go with Holloway, despite concerns about potential signs of deterioration in his reaction time.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This podcast contains adult language. Viewer discretion is advised.
UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Allen Picks
Clay Guida vs. Rafa Garcia
Brian’s Pick: Clay Guida by decision
Kenny’s Pick: Clay Guida
Pedro Munhoz vs. Chris Gutierrez
Brian’s Pick: Pedro Munhoz
Kenny’s Pick: Chris Gutierrez
Tanner Boser vs. Ion Cutelaba
Brian’s Pick: Tanner Boser
Kenny’s Pick: Tanner Boser
Dustin Jacoby vs. Azamat Murzakanov
Brian’s Pick: Dustin Jacoby
Kenny’s Pick: Azamat Murzakanov
Edson Barboza vs. Billy Quarantillo
Brian’s Pick: Billy Quarantillo
Kenny’s Pick: Billy Quarantillo
Max Holloway vs. Arnold Allen
Brian’s Pick: Max Holloway
Kenny’s Pick: Max Holloway
Watch the segment below for their full analysis!
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