Onward Into Battle: Talking MMA with KEN Mode

By the time this goes live, KEN Mode’s first round of what promises to be another couple years of non-stop touring will have come to a close and the boys will be getting set to kick their feet up for about 20 minutes before hitting Europe with HARK. See all the details and particulars at this post from a couple weeks ago. Having spent the last couple of weeks on the road with the brothers Matthewson, one thing I and anyone with at least a half-functioning set of ears will notice is how often the topics of both the training and competitive sides of Mixed Martial Arts, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and all that professional ass-kicking business get discussed while the majority of everyone else in the room/van/proximity looks like someone is speaking Mongolian, and this particular jerk wishes he had someone to talk tennis with (yeah, yeah, yeah…). But to sit on the periphery of conversations in which the principle figures are so deeply engaged is as unnerving and confusing as it is interesting and quite helpful in understanding the social transformation my long-suffering significant other says overcomes yours truly when me and the local metal nerds start nerd-ing out. People are into what they’re into and it’s awesome when they’re way passionate about what they’re into. so let’s take a break from the music talk. Maybe it would have made more sense to transcribe an actual conversation, but that sounds like a lot of work and I’m a lazy fuck. In light of that, the Deciblog presents:
My Top Five Favourite MMA Fights of 2014 (so far)
By Jesse Matthewson [guitarist/vocalist]

Yoel Romero vs. Derek Brunson
Intense back-and-forth [action] between two incredibly skilled and athletic up-and-comers in the middleweight division. Brunson looked like he was fighting the perfect fight to beat Romero with his range and speed and then’ BAM,’ the third round sees the scale tipping drastically and Romero finishes him off with brutal ground ‘n’ pound and brutal elbows to the body. I’m very excited to see Romero tested against Tim Kennedy.

Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown
This was a brutal slug fest with plenty of clinch and elbow work. Both men have incredible chins and I knew it would be a slog, but nobody would have guessed it would have gone five rounds of constant action. I didn’t used to be a Lawler fan, but since his resurgence in the UFC at 170 he has been an absolute animal. Honestly, in the end what I think made this fight so much fun was that Brown did a lot better than I thought he would.

Lyoto Machida vs. Chris Weidman
I have a soft spot for the real ‘martial artist’ Brazilian types. I loved watching Anderson Silva fight because he always had some new crazy striking technique he was trying out that nobody had attempted before in MMA, and somehow it kept working. Him losing to Chris Weidman, especially the leg break, was tough to watch…A part of me was hoping Chris Weidman would be “exposed” for being not THAT special by another wild ‘martial artist’ type. Lyoto looked re-invigorated at UFC 185 and I was sure he’d get the belt…he didn’t, but damn, I was actually stoked to see just how good Weidman was. Cut off the cage perfectly, utilized range, movement and takedowns to ultimately dictate the pace, yet the fight was still extremely close and exciting. If Machida would have put on the pressure in the third, it could have been a different story.

Johnny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler
I think the most fun part about this bout was that you really had no idea who was going to win all fight. Hendricks mixed it up more, with frequent kicks and his utilizing of takedowns, but Lawler was never even close to being out of that fight. Some of those shots Hendricks absorbed in the third round – and still being able to go on to win – were beyond nuts! The re-match will be wild, especially after watching those last two Lawler fights since Hendricks has been out.

Thiago Alves vs. Seth Baczynski
My Muay Thai bias comes into play here. I just love watching a good stand up war with Thiago Alves. Baczynski is a tough, tough dude, but man, did he take a beating in this one. If Alves can stay healthy, it will be interesting to see what happens with him in this post-Georges St-Pierre welterweight division.

Couldn’t find any relevant video for this one, so watch this instead: