The Best Strength Training Tips for the Big Three Powerlifting Movements

Posted in Bodybuilding, MMA, Strength Training on September 10th, 2013 by Papa Swole

Now that you’re feeling alpha, understand repetition rangesrecovery, and overtraining, it’s time to focus on improving your compound lift performance. These three core compound exercises are: dead lift, bench press, and squat. Each of these unique compound exercises incorporate different aspects of strength while still providing total body strength improvements. Some of the ancillary benefits of including these exercises in your regimen is improved speed, power, muscular hypertrophy, and endurance. Further benefits include a dramatically increased hormonal release which encompasses testosterone and growth hormone being released in significant amounts post compound exercises (particularly squats). This release is due to the overall bodily stress and muscular trauma that occurs during these exercises which thus precipitates a positive hormonal recovery response from the body. Another important aspect of these compound strength exercises is they allow you to build up any weaknesses and muscular imbalances you may have. These weaknesses and imbalances are very important to address because they can result in injury, and reduction of both meliorative athletic performance and aesthetic enhancement.  The magnitude of benefits that can be derived from these simple compound exercises are paramount to overall improvement  of physical fitness no matter what your goal, gender, age, or body type. In this article we will address some simple but vital tips to apply to each exercise that will improve your performance. Read on below…

“There is no reason to be alive if you can’t do deadlift.” - Jón Páll Sigmarsson [Four time World's Strongest Man]

Let’s begin and get you stacking some big 45 pound plates on that bar.

Dead lifting- We already went into the importance and aspects of dead lifting in an earlier article here on SwoleScience. Here are some vital strength tips for the king of total body strength exercises.

  1. Basic Form- Make sure your form never deviates from perfection. Do not progress in weight unless you can flawlessly execute the movement. A common and devastating error is to lift with your ego, advance too quickly in weight and thus end up rounding your back. This rounding usually ends in spinal pain in the form of a slipped/bulged disc and will keep you off the bar for months. Done correctly, dead lifts are one of the best things for back pain prevention, core strength, and overall power. Moral of the story- Keep your back straight.
  2. Drag the bar along your legs- It is no coincidence that serious lifters can commonly be seen with two things- protective sleeves on their shins or no skin on their shins. The reason for this is that by dragging the dead lift bar along the legs the body remains in perfect form. The reasoning for this that if the bar strays too far away from the legs the back will have a propensity to round and thus place unnecessary stress on the spine because you will be overreacting beyond the body’s natural line of stability. So SwoleScience UP and lift that bar.
Papa Swole Dead Lift's. All Picture Rights and Credit Reserved by

Papa Swole’s shin post Dead Lifting.
All Picture Rights and Credit Reserved by

Bench Pressing

  1. Do not flare your elbows out- Point your elbows down at a 45 degree angle towards your feet to remove some of the stress from your shoulders and incorporate more upper body strength. If you were to push someone, you would not do it with your elbows flared out, you would do it with them pointed towards the floor. Use this to your advantage when under the bar.
  2. Keep your upper back and butt PINNED- Do not raise your butt off the bench…ever. Keep it on the bench or risk hernia’s and back injury.
  3. Flex and sit on your traps- This allows your to take stress off your shoulders and dramatically improves stability.
  4. Keep your feet planted- Drive through the lift by keeping your feet completely glued to the floor and pushing off them to keep you in perfect bench positioning.


  1. Flat Shoes- Squat barefoot or in extremely flat soled shoes such as Chuck Taylors or Vibrams. If you squat in traditional air/gel soled shoes the padding will compress and thus make you unstable and unable to fully power through the movement. Furthermore the padded sole will result in a slight lean forward which can spell disaster for your back on bigger lifts.
  2. Toes pointed out- Point the toes out at a 45 degree angle. While some people can get away with keeping them straight ahead, once you get to bigger weights, this foot position allows for less strain on the knees and much greater stability which is paramount in heavy lifts.
  3. Keep your Traps Flexed- Keep your upper back tight and flexed. Forget the padded foam on the bar, your natural padding is your traps, so use them. Keeping your traps flexed will allow the bar to stay in perfect position and help keep your upper body tight and thus make it easier to adhere to strict form.

Overall Tips that Apply to ALL of the Powerlifting Lifts

  1. Don’t get Greedy- Don’t overtrain by accelerating the frequency of lifting or do more than one of these compound lifts per day.
  2. Go up SLOW- You’re not going to go up by a two 45 pound plates each week. Learn to be patient. Get used to working slow and diligently for slow and steady gains, or risk injuring yourself.
  3. Don’t Rush your Sets- Take your time, mentally prepare and visualize the lift before you lift. Always allow yourself time to recover before the next set in order to maximize your training time.
  4. Hold Your Breath- On all of these lifts implement the Valsalva maneuver. Take a deep breathe, hold it with your core muscles, and lift. Do not exhale on the way up or down or you will allow your core to weaken mid lift which will result in reduced power, greatly increased risk of herniation and back injury. Only breath at the top or end of a repetition.
  5. Speed- Keep a smooth and diligent pace. Hit your goal repetitions with strict form and then end the set.

-Papa Swole

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UFC 164 Preview

Posted in Self Defense on August 29th, 2013 by Papa Swole

We are back and better than ever.  What a great week to return, two UFC events in less than a week.  The fight night event on Fox Sports 1 had some good fights, but Saturday has one of the most anticipated rematches in a long time.  The main event pits the 155 lb champ, Benson Henderson, against the man who turned him into a high light reel, Anthony Pettis.  The last time these two fought was in the WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting) where Pettis leapt of the cage and kicked Henderson in the face for the defining moment in the fight.  We’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, so let’s start with the beginning of the main card.

All Credits and Rights to Zuffa and the UFC

All Credits and Rights to Zuffa and the UFC

UFC 164

Date: August 31, 2013

Time: 6 pm ET/3 pm PT Facebook Card. 10 pm ET/7 pm PT Televised.

Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Main Card:
Benson Henderson (19-2) vs. Anthony Pettis (16-2)
Frank Mir (16-7) vs. Josh Barnett (32-6)
Chad Mendes (14-1) vs. Clay Guida (30-13)
Ben Rothwell (32-9) vs. Brandon Vera (12-6-1)
Erik Koch (13-2) vs. Dustin Poirier (13-3)

Preliminary Card: 
Jamie Varner (21-7-1) vs. Gleison Tibau (27-9)
Louis Gaudinot (6-2) vs. Tim Elliott (9-3-1)
Pascal Krauss (11-1) vs. Hyun Gyu Lim (11-3-1)
Chico Camus (12-4) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (11-6)

Preliminary Card on Facebook:
Soa Palelei (18-3) vs. Nikita Krylov (14-0)
Ryan Couture (6-2) vs. Al Iaquinta (5-2-1)
Jared Hamman (13-5) vs. Magnus Cedenblad (10-4)

The high reel kick by Anthony Pettis during the first match of Pettis v. Henderson in the WEC.

The high reel kick by Anthony Pettis during the first match of Pettis v. Henderson in the WEC.

Main Card Preview

Koch v. Poirier- The pay per view begins with a battle of former featherweight contenders.  Erik Koch squares off with Dustin Poirier.  Koch had a shot lined up for the title, but an injury forced him off the card and back in line.  A victory over Poirier would put him back up near the top for title contention.  Poirier, like Koch, is coming off a loss and was also very close to a shot at the champion Jose Aldo.  Both guys are very well rounded with the striking edge leaning towards Koch and the grappling to Poirier.  I expect fireworks and a great start to the PPV main card.

Rothwell v. Vera- The second fight is the first of two heavyweight bouts on the main card.  Ben Rothwell has very heavy hands, but his cardio has always been his weak point.  Brandon Vera has bounced between the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions throughout the years, and has had a roller coaster of a career being on the good and bad sides of devastating knockouts.  Vera’s striking and speed should make the difference in this bout, but you’ve always got to be weary of the one punch knockout ability of the larger athletes.

Mendes v. Guida- One of the most interesting fights of the night in our opinion is Chad Mendes and Clay Guida. Mendes has been an absolute wrecking ball since his controversial KO loss to Jose Aldo in UFC 142. Guida made the move from lightweight to featherweight, but recently has been shying away from the action during his fights recently. Guida has a relentless pace, but the team alpha male standout Mendes has dynamite in his hands.  Guida’s game plan of sticking and moving might work for a little, but we don’t see Mendes losing this one.

Barnett v. Mir- The last heavyweight battle of the night is a showdown of two former UFC champions.  This fight is Josh Barnett’s long awaited return to the UFC after 11 years since he was stripped of the title for steroid use after beating Randy Couture . He meets fellow former champion Frank Mir who looked a bit sluggish in his last outing against Daniel Cormier in UFC on FOX in April 20, 2013.  Both guys have decent striking, but the grappling is what will be on showcase in this one.  Mir snapped Nogueira’s arm recently and Barnett has over half of his wins by submission.  This is a hard one to predict, but it might end up in the hands of the judges.

Henderson v. Pettis- Finally we have arrived at the main event of the evening.  Ben Henderson is looking for his fourth straight title defense as well as vengeance for his last loss and aforementioned highlight reel embarrassment.  Anthony Pettis was the last WEC lightweight champion before they were absorbed into the UFC. Pettis has some of the best striking in the UFC, which was last put on display in his devastating first round tko of Donald Cerrone.  Henderson has been very content with squeaking out close decisions and he hasn’t finished a fight since 2010. On the other hand, Pettis is coming off back-to-back Knockout of the Night Awards in his last two bouts.  We don’t think Henderson is going to leave with the belt this time, but you never know and that’s why we’ll see when they settle it in the cage.

All Credits and Rights to Zuffa and the UFC

All Credits and Rights to Zuffa and the UFC

Enjoy the fights everybody.

Make sure to catch the fight and Follow us on Twitter for fight play-by-play, notification of future articles/interviews/product reviews and all around information- @SwoleScience

Check out Young Swole on Twitter @GaryOrr

Check out Papa Swole on Twitter @PapaSwole

-Papa Swole and Young Swole

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Nutrition and Recovery

Posted in Bodybuilding, MMA, Strength Training on April 11th, 2013 by Papa Swole

In previous articles we have discussed the importance of pre and post workout nutrition and basic athletic supplementation, but the consistent total recovery of an athlete is a 24 hour process that must be adhered to for maximum results. Without the proper recovery scheme being implemented an athlete will suffer detrimental performance loss, plateau more often, and waste the benefits of precious training sessions. The core elements of a true complete recovery, while simple, make the difference between constantly taking yourself to the next level and stagnant fruitless training. The recovery stage of training is so often neglected that it becomes the true Achilles heel of many athletes. Read more below to help structure your recovery properly.

Proper Recovery is Key

Proper Recovery is Key

Science of Recovery

During exercise and physical exertion the muscles of an athlete receive micro-tears in the muscle fiber tissue. These micro-tears not only cause the sensation soreness but are responsible for the muscle being rebuilt larger and stronger. These fibers are constantly being repaired after an athlete finishes a workout and therefore there is a biological increase in protein synthesis to help aid recovery. The increase in protein synthesis allows protein to be metabolized faster and more efficiently specifically for the purpose of the recovery of the muscular skeletal system. Without proper sleep, recovery time, and food, the muscles of an athlete will never fully recover and thus yield subpar and plateaued results. In summary, the muscles are broken down in the gym and built back up in kitchen and bed. There must proper effort on both ends of the spectrum (exercise-recover) for optimal aesthetic and athletic results.


The sleep needs of people depends on age, level of activity, and personal factors. It is recommended that the average adult get 8 hours of sleep but this number can increase given an increase in athletic activity and exertion. The average American gets 6.5 hours of sleep and 20% get less than 6 hours. That puts the majority of the population at a significantly reduced recovery rate. Athletes cannot afford to be anywhere this number in order to maintain their athletic progression.

During sleep, the body the body goes into a hyper recovery mode where it is inundated with recovery hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone. These hormones are primarily released at night during the deep stages of sleep and crucial for recovery, protein synthesis, energy, mood, strength, and overall mental/physical wellbeing. Without the proper release of these hormones the body will not only age faster but it will not perform at it’s peak because there will not be proper recovery the night before. Exercise helps maintain and increase the levels of these hormones especially as we age, which can help you looking and feeling younger. In order to reap these benefits from exercise you must sleep properly and deeply. Sleep tips-

  • Eat something before bed but not immediately before. You want to provide nutrients for your body to use during the night and to aid in recovery. Without proper before bed nutrition the body can go catabolic, and break down precious and hard earned muscle tissue.
  • Avoid light at all costs.
  • Avoid electronic distractions such as TV’s and Cellphones that can keep you awake.
  • Use your bedroom for sex and sleep only.
  • Lower the temperature. We tend to sleep better at slightly lower than room temperature level.


This is one of the most neglected aspects of training. You cannot out train a bad diet and what you fuel your body with dictates your results. Food is bodyweight, strength, size, fuel, and energy. Athletes who have trouble gaining/losing/maintaining weight are always subpar in the nutrition department of their training. Muscles are fueled by glycogen which is from carbohydrates. Once the body’s muscle glycogen stores are filled, the rest is stored as fat. The body was not meant to be sedentary, therefore a diet heavy in carbohydrates without exertion leaves to excessive fat storage. Protein is used for thousands of body processes from hair to rebuilding muscles, and it is one of the only nutrients that the body cannot store. Therefore protein needs to be constistantly consumed and athletes need significantly increased amounts due to the muscles recovering. Fats get a bad reputation due to the widespread use of unhealthy unnatural processed fats. Consumption of quality and healthy fats such as omega-3 fats are essential for brain function, joint lubrication, and production of hormones.

Fuel the body

Fuel the body

It is essential for an athlete to consume enough protein for recovery, carbohydrates to restore glycogen, and fats for overall health. The most important time to consume protein is within the vital 1 hour post-workout window where the body’s protein synthesis is spiked the muscles are primed for excessive absorbtion of nutrients. Proper nutrition upon waking is also essential as not only does it set the body’s anabolic tone for the rest of the day but after sleep the body is eager for nutrients. An athlete can manipulate their bodyweight, body fat, and muscular size depending on the caloric and macronutritent intake. In order to gain healthy weight, you must exceed your caloric maintenance number with quality calories in conjunction with a strenuous workout regimen. In order to lose weight, implement a workout program with a slightly reduced but consistant reduced caloric intake, minimizing carbohydrates while keeping protein high. This will place your body in a state of ketosis, which will yield a steady bodyweight and body fat reduction while helping to preserve muscle.

Tips for nutrition-

  • Consume quality unprocessed carbohydrates prior to training to restore muscle glycogen
  • Avoid overly processed food at all costs.
  • Eat enough protein for muscle maintenance and recovery.
  • Manipulate your diet for the results you want by paying attention to the numbers.
  • Consistency is key, There are no fast and easy results.
  • Implement fruits and vegetables for essential vitamins, minerals, and health.
  • Abs are built in the kitchen, not in the gym.

-Papa Swole

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Women’s Self Defense

Posted in MMA, Self Defense on January 12th, 2013 by Papa Swole

In our previous self defense article we discussed basic street fighting movements and tips that were not only generally applicable to everyone but could also help save your life in an emergency. Statistically speaking a woman who is only 21 years of age has a 25 percent risk of suffering violent crime in her life, which shows that women are significantly more susceptible to being targeted by violent offenders. We have collaborated with professional mixed martial artist Kevin ‘Kage’ Pearson to bring you a self defense guide specifically geared for women. This article specifically focuses on and addresses the common factors that a woman would face in an emergency situation and how to overcome them to defend herself. Click ‘Read More’ below to check it out.

Kevin 'Kage' Pearson teaching a standing arm bar.

Kevin ‘Kage’ Pearson teaching a standing arm bar.

For years there have been women’s self-defense classes promising a sense of security for the long and dark walk in the parking lot. These classes are typically five or less one hour long sessions. Some are at the local police station and others are offered at Karate schools. I find these classes to be impractical in real life situations. Mastering a martial art takes more than five hours. The greatest disadvantage a woman has in a fight against a man is strength. This article is breaking down the women’s self-defense methods and offering the best plan of action.


The first weapon is the stun gun, which are readily available to the public. Just the electric arcing’s menacing and intimidating appearance and sound alone is enough to scare off some attackers.  This weapon provides a good affordable sense of security when walking in the dark alley way or parking lot. A Taser is more expensive but allows for incapacitation at a distance because it shoots out corded projectiles that embeds the skin of attacker while delivering an incredibly high voltage shock. With around 9 million volts of zapping electricity, a stun gun is a must have for the damsel in distress.

Pepper spray is a more common and less lethal weapon to have. The spray is held inside a capsule, often a pressurized cylinder, and a thumb press button activates a mist of capsicum based mixture. Aim for the attackers eyes for best results. Try to spray downwind if possible to avoid mist coming back onto your face. Not only does the mist temporarily blind the attacker, but it also irritates the throat and airway which causes difficulty breathing, an intense choking sensation, and a very painful claustrophobic experience. Some have a dye which can be seen on the person who was hit and the police can use this to identify who was at the scene attacking. Pepper spray is cheap and available to the public for less than $10 and can be easily carried on in a small bottle on a key chain. Pepper spray has a reputation of being a ineffective, especially against intoxicated attackers. This is a common myth that is unsubstantiated, the new formulations of pepper spray will swell the attackers eyes shut and irritate the attackers airway even with an indirect hit, thus giving you vital seconds to stop an attack and escape.

If a concealed weapons permit is held, then one recommended gun is the hammerless Smith and Wesson air weight .38 special. It has a snub nose barrel which makes it even easier to be concealed and the hammerless design helps with quick removal from the purse without getting the hammer caught up on keys, inner pockets, or any other things a woman’s purse contains. The downfall is that this is a deadly weapon that requires extensive training for proper and safe use. Absolute safety and prudence must be exercised while wielding a firearm. The use of a deadly weapon should never be the first line of defense and should only be used if there is absolute knowledge of certain impending endangerment of your life.

Physical Self Defense  

Women typically on average have approximately have about 60-80% of the muscle mass of men. This stark disadvantage makes it imperative that a women avoid strikes and flee the attacker rather than stand and engage in a potentially dangerous combative situation. Typically, in a street fight it is advisable to close the distance if in fear of taking a blow. It is hard to deliver a damaging blow without having any space for the fists to travel and build momentum. Force equals mass times velocity squared, and thus if the velocity is next to nothing, then the resulting force will be too. Yet, it is not recommend women to close the distance because this will put them in grabbing range and this is the first goal of the attacker because it makes bodily control extremely easy, as well as putting you in jeopardy of being taken down the ground. We will now examine vulnerable bodily areas to exploit while being attacked. These key weak points allow a physically weaker opponent to extract an incredible amount of pain and discomfort with very little applied physical force.

The first tip is to aim strikes towards the groin. Typically a powerful knee, kick, or punch to the groin will cause the attacker to grab his stomach and hunch over. The pain from a direct groin hit is enough to make a man pass out if done hard enough. Once the groin hit is delivered the instinctual bodily reaction will be to hunch over in pain and an intense weakening sensation felt throughout the body.  Once the attacker hunches over after the devastating hit it is time to then run to a crowd as quickly as possible.

Knee to Groin. Credit- Bill Valentine

Knee to Groin. Credit- Bill Valentine

Another vital area is to constantly attack are the eyes in any manner possibly. It can be poking, scratching, slapping, and weaponry to the eyes. The attacks must be relentless and without hesitation to the eye region. Even with very little force, one can push through the shut eyelids and reach the eyes in order to stop an impending or on going attack. Another target are the ears. The delicate connective tissue of this body part guarantees that a small and weaker opponent will have plenty of power to rip apart an ear. The ear tear is good for when an attacker picks up a victim over his shoulders because the ear is exposed and directly reachable. If you see piercings of any type such as earrings, eyebrow rings, or lip rings, simply rip them out to cause sharp intense pain that will help distract an attacker. Small joint manipulations offer an advantage to smaller people because it takes very little power to break and dismember the small joints of the body such as the fingers. Bend the fingers back one at a time. Wrap a whole hand around one finger and torque back. Don’t target the attackers thumb because it is shorter and can pivot differently than the others because of the flexibility of joint.

One of the most common attacks, and worst transitionary positions to find your self in is the being grabbed by an attacker. In order to escape, mitigate any potential damage, and maximize the chance of you escaping, use the following tips. If you are being bear-hugged from behind over your arms: grab the small joints of the fingers and begin to rapidly snap them back as you lower your weight by dropping your hips and escaping my shifting out of the grip using total body strength against the weak link of the hands. When pulling apart the small joints of the fingers use your whole hand and pull in a downward or outward motion as quickly as you can.

Additionally, use the rear headbutt to repeatedly strike against the face of the attacker when locked in a rear bear hug. While being bear hugged in any form either front or back, reach back/forward and strike/squeeze the groin of the attacker with your hand or knee. If your are being grabbed around your waist with your hands free, use the same aforementioned method to escape. One key technique is that once the grip has loosened, and there is enough space, you can also spin around and attack the vulnerable areas of the face and throat while pushing and moving backwards against the embrace. The front bear hug allows you to also knee the groin with incredible accuracy and force while simultaneously using the arms to push away from the attack.

If grabbed by the arm or shoulder, immediately lower your center of gravity and shift your weight away from the attacker by quickly leaping way and running. If you cannot escape, use the aforementioned attacks while still motioning away from the attacker consistently with your body. Biting, spitting, and scratching at the face are also quickly accessible techniques that will allow you to hurt your opponent quickly and from multiple situations.

The fact is that the goal is not the stay and fight with your attacker and thus risk potential deadly consequences. The goal is to temporarily cause enough pain, distraction, and discomfort in order to stop the attack for enough vital seconds that will allow you to escape and run from your attacker. Using these quickly ascertainable and naturally basic techniques you can empower yourself with enough useful knowledge that will allow you to possibly save your life. Be sure to check out the basic self defense article here. 

-Papa Swole and Kevin ‘Kage’ Pearson

Kevin “Kage” Pearson is currently a fulltime firefighter in Florida. He is a former professional mixed martial artist and still teaches classes at F2 Arena & Darkside Athletics located in Gainesville, Florida. See more right here on! Also check out his YouTube channel KevinKageMMA.

-Papa Swole

(This is an original post copyright to, credited to the aforementioned author. Its reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved to the original authors of any quoted or embedded material)

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UFC on Fox 5 Preview

Posted in Coverage of Professional Combat Sports Events, MMA on December 8th, 2012 by Papa Swole

After a short hiatus, we’re back with a preview of the greatest network fight card in the history of the world.  A title fight, two legends, two young guns, and two absolute warriors come together to make one of the most anticipated cards of the year.  Benson Henderson defends his lightweight championship against Nate Diaz.  Shogun takes on Alexander Gustafsson in a light heavyweight title eliminator, with the winner very likely getting a shot at Jones with a win.  BJ Penn climbs back into the cage, defending his legacy and cardio against Rory Macdonald, the next great thing in the welterweight division.  Finally Matt Brown and Mike Swick will enter the octagon with hopes of a fight of the night performance.  The undercard on facebook and FX is packed with so much talent; I recommend you and all your friends get together for this one.

All Credits and Rights to Zuffa and the UFC

Main Card

The main card  starts at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.

Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz, lightweight

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, light heavyweight

Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick, welterweight

Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn, welterweight

Preliminary Card on FX

The Preliminary card  starts at 5 p.m. EST on FX.

Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens, lightweight

Raphael Assuncao vs. Mike Easton, bantamweight

Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor, lightweight

Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez, lightweight

Tim Means vs. Abel Trujillo, lightweight

Nam Phan vs. Dennis Siver, featherweight

Preliminary Card on Facebook

Facebook preliminary card can be seen at 4:30 p.m EST

John Albert vs. Scott Jorgensen, bantamweight

All Credits and Rights to Zuffa and the UFC

Main Card Preview

First up on fox are Mike Swick and Matt Brown.  Swick had a very long layoff before knocking out DeMarques Johnson a few months ago.  He brings lighting fast hands with tremendous knockout power along with a very well rounded grappling and submission game.  Matt the Immortal is one of the toughest dudes in MMA.  This man can take a beating, but he also has the ability to dish it out.  This fight will be action packed and is my prediction for fight of the night.

The next fight is the one I am most excited for.  BJ Penn is my favorite fighter of all time.  The consummate champion, he fought from 155-205.  He’s been fighting for the UFC since 2001 and has fought everyone from GSP to Lyoto Machida.  Rory MacDonald is a young gun fighting out of Canada’s famed Tri-Star gym, home to GSP.  BJ has a bone to pick with Tri-Star losing the two matchups against GSP.  He won the first fight in my opinion and the second was the greasing incident but that’s another article for another day.  Rory is the prototypical mixed martial artist.  He is great at nothing but good at everything and is the much larger fighter in this matchup.  If BJ comes in with the fire and cardio he showed against Diego Sanchez, it’s going to be a long night for Rory.  If the BJ who fought uninspired against Nick Diaz or Edgar the second time shows up, it might be the end of the era.

The third fight is another living legend, Mauricio Shogun Rua, taking on a dynamic light heavyweight fighting out of Sweden, Alexander Gustafsson.  Shogun is a dynamic kick boxer with good jiu jitsu, but he’s getting a little old and is showing after a plethora of wars inside the ring.  Gustafsson is young and hungry and has only been the judges’ scorecards once.  Shogun could gut this one out and win but it will be a ridiculously tough task.  Gustafsson could attempt to stand on the outside and pick him apart a la Bones Jones, but Shogun’s aggression and counter striking might be the difference.

Finally, the moment we have all been waiting for.  Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz showdown for the 155-pound belt.  Henderson is a huge 155er cutting from well over 170 pounds to make weight.  Diaz is a triathlete with cardio for days.  Diaz has the awkward boxing of his brother and the black belt in jiu jitsu too.  Henderson has the greatest submission escapability I have ever seen, don’t believe me? Just watch his fight with Cowboy Cerrone in the WEC.  Henderson is a great wrestler with some awkward karate strikes and a capable jiu jitsu game.   This fight will very likely go the distance and I give the slight edge to Henderson.  He has the ability to win on the judges’ cards by doing just enough to steal the round.  One thing is for sure, this card will be all you could ask for from a pay per view and it’s free on basic cable.  I know what I’m doing December 8th and I hope you all do the same.


Make sure to catch the fight and Follow us on Twitter for fight play-by-play, notification of future articles/interviews/product reviews and all around information- @SwoleScience

Check out Young Swole on Twitter @GaryOrr

Check out Papa Swole on Twitter @PapaSwole

-Papa Swole and Young Swole

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