Thomas’ UFC 191 Breakdowns

Main Event – Johnson vs Dodson

This UFC main event has FIRE written all over it. I want the UFC to play that Van Halen “Fire in the Hole” track to introduce this dandy of a matchup. I’m telling you folks this has that potential to be a fight of the year candidate. Plus it has that fantastic rematch component to it where you know Dodson has been trying to earn his shot back into this position so that he can beat up Johnson because frankly, he can.

What to expect.

On Johnson’s End

The dude is a masterful tactician and has won 8 fights in row. He’s currently (arguably of course) THE BEST and most well rounded tactician in MMA. He has an incredibly diverse and lucrative skill set REGARDLESS of where this fight goes. Since Dodson has fantastic power, expect Johnson to utilize boxing circling, strong defence strategies (similar to that fading away/elusive style you see from Mayweather, except MMA oriented in nature) and to go for the takedown if Dodson overexerts his forward balance trying to land the knock out shot.

On Dodson’s End

Dodson hits like a heavyweight. For a guy in this weight class to throw as hard and land as often as Dodson does is just mesmerizing. Expect Dodson to land huge shots at a decent rate and possibly even drop Johnson at times, because those punches pack C4 in them. I wouldn’t expect him to slow down either throughout the fight as he knows how strong Johnson is in the cardio department, so expect Dodson to not wear out early and instead conserve his energy as his best chance to win is via the KO.


I see Johnson winning by submission. I would assume sometime surrounding the later portions of the fight (round 3, 4 or 5). Mighty Mouse could tire Dodson out on the ground and work a rear naked.

Co-Main Event – Mir vs Arlovski

Admittedly, this is an odd one to consider because just 4 years back Arlovski was journeying around in different promotions, trying to re-establish himself as a heavyweight contender. Meanwhile, Frank Mir didn’t win for nearly two years between summer 2012 and February 2014, seemingly drifting towards the  “retire or get cut” list. Now both are back and it’s time to see which veteran is better suited for a last crack at a title run.

What to expect

On Arlovski’s End

This guy never shies away from a fight and absolutely won’t against Frank Mir. This is the guy that KO’d by Fedor because he leapt in for a flying knee and got caught. He will engage Mir in boxing and will throw leg kicks and try to force Mir into a brawl, where Arlovski excels and can unleash his relentless power. In some ways, whenever I watch an Arlovski fight I say, expect punches and kicks thrown, however from that point on just expect the unexpected.

On Frank Mir’s End

He continues to impress even though he’s getting older and doesn’t show the quickness he used to have, but he has adapted, continued to improve in striking and engaging techniques. His ground game has also consistently broken people too… literally, like more than once. Don’t be surprised if he takes it to the ground and/or has some top-notch exchanges with the “Pitbull.”


Expect Mir to win via old faithful in this one and continue his journey into the UFC records books. Good ol’ submission (Round 2ish, before it gets too sweaty in there) and because it might get “scrambly” in nature, I’m going with a heel hook or kemura.

3 things to look out for at UFC 191!

A streak is due

Jessica Andrade is known to lose a fight and then proceeds to go on a solid winning streak of at least 2 or 3 or even more. I expect her to keep her momentum going after her win from UFC Fight Night in July (where Mir also fought) and take home a win.


Johnson vs Manuwa probably will not last long and your screen might get cracked due to the incidental earthquake that will happen when these 2 decide to launch the fist-version of tomahawk missiles at each other. Godzilla vs Mothra infrastructure damage may occur, so plan accordingly!

“A New Player Has Entered the Game”

Watch for the emergence of the pretty, yet lethal “12 Gauge”. She is still a developmental project and has some holes in her game, mostly due to inexperience, every fight she improves in each MMA department in terms of timing and technique. I wouldn’t be surprised if she pulls out some new weapons that are now available in her arsenal. Win or lose, she’ll be entertaining and might even win in spectacular fashion.


UFC 189 McGregor vs Mendes Championship Fight Predictions

It’s a beautiful Saturday. I am about to eat some meat, sit outside and enjoy a great BBQ with friends, but before I do I must post my UFC 189 Prediction for the title fights.

McGregor vs Mendes

Both men are phenomenal athletes in their respective discipline/styles and either one has a chance to win regardless of my take. The classic striker vs grappler shows up again.

That said, I have Mendes by decision. Simply gonna put it that Conor has a punchers chance (albeit a great one at that considering his pedigree) but Mendes is just extremely strong, ridiculously fast and I believe he has the speed advantage. It is REALLY hard to punch and kick when your forced back and grinded ‘DC style’ against the cage. I believe that to be the Faber/Mendes perspective on how to counter McGregor and win. Why stand with an elite striker? Do like Chael did to Anderson and force McGregor to reach into his bag of tricks early and often. That said, the Irishman is one talented young man with undeniable spirit and technique. Just because we don’t know how good McGregor’s ground is doesn’t mean its not awesome or clutch.

My ONLY worry (more for fairweather fans than me because I don’t care) is that its “boring” because McGregor’s guard is great, but that Mendes doesn’t have much to beat it, so he resorts to lazy ground and pound/half guard type position control to eak out a decision.

McGregor, prove me wrong man, I’d love to see it. Both men have what it takes to be the interim champ. Beating Aldo….well we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

In general, one phrase sums this fight up in a nutshell. “Range control.” Whoever wins that, wins the fight in the grand scheme of things.

Lawler vs MacDonald

I could totally see this fight going either way.

The way I see it, no one can question how hard Lawler hits. On the same token, no one can question how truly well rounded MacDonald is as a fighter. So there lies the conundrum.

But there is one difference. Explosiveness. I see this being in the favour of the Champion Lawler. Rory MacDonald is so technical, experienced and composed inside the cage, but I don’t see that being enough to stop one of Lawlers classic leap in and hooks.

3rd round TKO in favour of Robbie as I believe he has that Championship experience to wait for his time and unload the cannon.

Man this was not easy to pick and I hate going against my fellow Canadian, but experience tells me Lawler is very, very, very hungry for this defense too. He’s proven alot to any doubters, but he still wants to be one of the best Welterweights ever.

Anyway, enjoy your Saturday everyone and wear sunscreen!!

Mars, The Next Frontier?

As one of our inner solar system neighbours, Mars can be seen from Earth with the naked eye. The Red Planet is considered a candidate for holding scientific clues to our solar system’s past. Not only that, but Mars has long carried an air of mystery, having possibly carried life and liquid water in its distant past. The issue has always been getting to Mars to find out.

The cosmos is vast and is mostly inhospitable. Just within our solar system, only one of 8 planets currently has natural conditions capable of sustaining any form of life.

Bas Lansdorp founded Mars One, the Netherlands based space exploration organization,in 2011 and acts as the Chief Executive Officer. With this not for profit institution, Lansdorp plans on challenging the current scientific perception of our solar system.

Mars One’s operational mission is to build a permanent settlement on Mars. This project plans to establish human and plant life, on the Red Planet and serve as an international exploration venture by permanently colonizing Mars.

Being a non-profit organization, Mars One has received donations in order for the project to get off the ground. Their website indicates that they have received over $700,000 worldwide from online donations, merchandise sales and their recently completed crowd funding campaign.

When the project was announced, Landsdorp opened applications to the international public for 40 available astronaut positions. Through Mars One’s selection process, they have steadily been determining their ideal astronaut candidates. Apparently 200,000 individuals applied to be astronauts at the start of this project. Through their selection process they are down to their final 100 candidates.

Deep-space travel is even more daunting than Columbus’s venture to North America. This type of long-term project requires extensive funding along with complicated technological and scientific planning.

Mars One has vital human requirements to consider along with the costs of constructing space ships and carrying cargo. Human necessities such as water, food, shelter, oxygen, medical equipment must all be brought to the Red Planet. Such transport ships require fuel, regular maintenance, testing and efficient and advanced safety systems. According to the Mars One team, “After discussion with potential suppliers for each component and close examination, Mars One estimates the cost of putting the first four people on Mars at six billion dollars.”

There is still plenty of funding required to be able to support this project financially. At the time of this article’s release, Canada was second largest contributing nation, tallying $86,000+ in donations.

To sustain the life of astronauts, materials must be transported to Mars from Earth prior to human arrival. Following the transport costs, much of this cost estimate is consumed by the training and analysis of the personnel.

The potential technological suppliers of Mars One include aerospace companies such as Paragon Space Development, ILC Dover, MDA Corporation, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Lockhead Martin.

In order to train for the conditions of Mars, psychological tests must be administered and the candidates must complete an 8 year training program  to be ready for the challenges of deep space exploration. Mars is known for having a cold and harsh climate. Currently, Mars One is stationing candidates in remote areas of the United States in an effort to replicate, as best as possible, the unsympathetic conditions of life on Mars.

Prior to 2027, the estimated year to begin human missions, Mars One plans on transporting required cargo and automated devices to Mars. This initial process is expected to take less than a decade, starting in about 2020 and extending until 2027. The focus of these launches is establishing communication satellites and transporting vital cargo such as food items and shelters. These initial launches are pivotal to determining the specific location of the human settlement and creating a habitable environment for the astronauts arrival.

After supplies have been delivered, the manned mission begins. The 8 to 9 month journey in 2027 would carry the first four pioneers to their new permanent home, Mars. Following the arrival of the first group, the selected candidates would then be transported in groups of four every two years, but this schedule is tentative and delays are very possible.

Scientists agree, space exploration is an example of high-risk with the potential of high-reward. Mars One acknowledges thismission’s hazardsand compares them with thedangers of climbers summiting Mount Everest.

Being able to land humans on Mars would be an incredible achievement never before seen in exploration. The cultural and scientific impact of NASA’s Apollo missions, as well as the world’s first satellite the Russian ‘Sputnik’, are well documented. However our outer atmosphere, and our moon are much closer than Mars. The moon is 384,400 kilometres away from Earth while Mars is a staggering distance of approximately 225,300,000 kilometres away.

The Mars One mission is also a one-way ticket, something humans have never attempted in the cosmos.

Mars One represents a polarizing undertaking that will certainly have fans and critics.

On one hand, the scientific prospects are unparalleled. This project has the potential to be the greatest scientific accomplishment in human history.

The prospective of humans artificially establishing life on another planet is incomparable. This accomplishment could usher our species into a whole new age of deep-space exploration and lead us towards research concepts never before considered. Only a 7 minute delay would exist in the transfer of electronic information from Mars to Earth. In nearly real time discoveries and scientific communications would be retrievable.

Then there is the global cultural impact. People from all over the world could look up into the night sky and know that life exists in the further reaches of the cosmos, because humans put it there.

On the other hand, space and Mars represent hazardous environments, with minimal room for error.

There are sceptics of this project. Famous Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, claims that, “We absolutely need to do it on the moon for a few generations,” prior to colonizing Mars.  NASA recently launched astronaut Scott Kelly into space for a year stay in the International Space Station. Kelly’s mission is aimed at gathering research for a possible NASA mission to Mars in the 2030’s, which is expected to happen about a decade after Mars One’s planned colonization.

According to NASA, attempting to launch a manned mission to Mars in the next decade is unrealistic on the scientific level. As of right now, NASA astronauts are generally placed within the International Space Station for a maximum of 6 months. The lack of gravity coupled with long stays isolate in space leave astronauts suffering issues of bone density loss, reduced muscle tissues and physiological changes. Mars’s gravity is less than half as strong as Earth’s. This could pose a legitimate physical risk for any future colonizers.

There are also ethical questions about the colonization of Mars.

Is it appropriate to leave individuals there with limited supplies and no option to return home? Could any “unknowns” quickly sabotage the mission? Mars’s terrain is frequently ravaged by dangerous sand storms and there is always the possibility of meteor impact. Surface temperatures fall far below 0 degrees Fahrenheit on the Red Planet, leaving the astronauts in conditions only survivable with specialized equipment and artificial shelter. Is placing an individual into that climate on a permanent basis morally acceptable with current technologies?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote a 2014 article detailing issues with the Mars One project. Their team suggests that with current technologies, the first astronaut would suffocate within 68 days of landing on the planet due to the lack of sufficient oxygen generation. If life support technology fails at any point, if colony members fall ill or become injured, or if a natural disaster occurs, the colonizers would certainly be out of the range of any immediate emergency rescue.

This begs the question, what if Mars One is short lived and carries vital materials, technology and matter to Mars, but ultimately within 3 months of being inhabitedthe settlement is found to be unsustainable? We currently do not have the means to retrieve the materials.

Space is an endless realm of discovery, and Lansdorp declares that, “Human settlement of Mars is the next giant leap for humankind. Exploring the solar system as a united humanity will bring us all closer together.”

There may be supporters and criticizers of Mars One’s endeavours, but humans travelling to the Red Planet is not just a possibility, it is a likelihood in the near future. Many scientists agree that within one or two generations  human feet could  touch down on Martian soil.

The questions then become, when is it truly safe and realistic to land humans on Mars? When can we accurately determine that the scientific benefits convincingly outweigh the potential for disaster? Lastly, will Mars One even take-off?

The hard truth about this kind of demanding exploration is that perhapswe won’t know until we try.

The Stories of Robert L. Johnson and Robert L. Johnson!

Today I actually show-case two black pioneers people because they have the same name and transcended some interesting cultural and socio-economic boundaries.

I will keep this in chronological order since we are talking about history and time moves forward!

First off, I will introduce the Black country Blues star, the late Robert Leroy Johnson. He was born in May 8th, 1911 in Hazlehurst, Mississippi and died August 16, 1938. His story is one of intrigue because usually in a music career a successful commercial career while living will land an artist into the history books, but in Johnson’s case he was not popular until after his death, eventually becoming a staple in the history of Blues, Country and Rock and Roll. Even the legendary Eric Clapton named him one of his true inspirations.

His late success may have been due to the fact he was performing mostly on street corners and public locations in a time when technology was not nearly as advanced. Thus, making his musical prowess spread by word of mouth rather than through commercial marketing.

Now Robert Johnson is often recognized for some supernatural stories. Some speculate that Johnson sold his soul to the Devil while carrying his guitar at a crossroads in Mississippi as a youth, and in turn the Devil granted him incredible musical talent for a lifetime. It’s also interesting to note that Johnson’s actual grave-site, to this day, remains unknown. OoooOOOOooOO *ghost voice*. I have attached his song Crossroads here for you to hear yourself and appreciate.

Second on the list of the R.L.J.’s is Mr. Robert Louis Johnson. That’s right even the middle initial is the same!

Robert Louis Johnson (born April 8, 1946, yup, born a month earlier than the music star and on the same digit) is the first African American to have a majority ownership of any team in professional sports. He accomplished this feat when he purchased the Charlotte Bobcats on January 10, 2003. Johnson has many notable academic and professional accomplishments, but the one I will specify in this post is that he is also the founder of B.E.T, so being a pioneer seems to be something Mr. Johnson relishes in.

The whole name and numerical linkages between the two are a little freaky, but they are both pioneers and are highly accomplished in their own rights. To the long lost Johnson brothers!

Bessie Coleman, The Famous Female Black Pilot… Born Before World War 1?

This idea seems completely far fetched and almost absurd, but life is full of surprises! Considering the cultural and technological conditions of this time period, I never figured I’d stumble across a female black pilot during this era, but in fact Bessie had it goin’ on! How cool is this!? Here’s a snippet of what I discovered.

Bessie Coleman was the world’s first black woman to earn her piloting license. She was born in 1892 in Atlanta, Texas. Now, she did attempt to earn her pilot license in the United States, but her being black didn’t allow for her to register into any American aviation schools. Therefore, in order to achieve her goal she traveled to France and studied. Not only did she become a pilot there, but she also was a parachutist and stunt pilot. This is one cool woman! Unfortunately, Bessie died in a plane accident in 1926 at age 34, but her legacy lives on and she is an inspiration to blacks, women and dreamers everywhere.

Bessie Coleman, a true inspiration and pioneer!

Check this link out if you want the full story. See you tomorrow with another story in culture and history!