Fightin' Words

A mixed martial arts blog about UFC, Bellator and other MMA promotions and fighters.

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Mark La Monica

I write in too many blogs to create individual profiles for each. So, whether you get roped into my musings on pop culture, "Entourage," mixed martial arts or the NFL, here are some things you should know about me:

1) No one's meatballs are as good as your mother's. It's undebatable.

2) "The Godfather III" and "Rocky V" get a bum rap. They're not nearly as bad as people make them out to be.

3) Randy "Macho Man" Savage is the forgotten man when it comes to old-school pro wrestling discussions.

4) If YouTube stopped existing, it would create quite a problem for us. How would we waste time at work? Where would all the things we push off until later go?

5) The hug in the ocean between Rocky and Apollo in "Rocky III" makes absolutely no sense, but it's impossible to change the channel when it comes on.

6) MTV doesn't need to play more videos, just create more channels that play videos.

7) Just chill to the next episode.

8) When is someone going to create a garlic-scented cologne? Or perhaps a hand cream of some sort?

9) ADA Jack McCoy would kick ADA Ben Stone's patoot any day in court, but Paul Robinette would smoke Jamey Ross, Abby Carmichael, Claire Kincaid, Danielle Borgia and Connie Rubirosa.

10) I nearly dumped a girlfriend who thought my clapping in 1995 when Don Mattingly finally reached the playoffs was "childish."

11) Lauren Conrad. I'm just saying.

12) Yo Mona Lisa, could I get a date on Friday? And if you're busy, I wouldn't mind taking Saturday-ay-ay, ay-ay-ay.

13) What's up, guy?

14) Victory!

15) Seeing Red Sox fans wretch at the mention of Wade Boggs on the horse in the Yankee Stadium is almost as funny as the episode of "Cheers" when Sam Malone and the rest of them "pantsed Wade Boggs."

16) I believe that after your favorite player retires or gets traded or signs elsewhere, there needs to be a one-year grace period before carefully selecting your next favorite player.

17) Swedish Fish, Mountain Dew make the world go round. Duct tape is a close third.

18) Twitter is the worst invention in history. Wait, how many characters was that?

Dennis Bermudez to fight Ricardo Lamas at UFC 180

Dennis Bermudez submitted Clay Guida during a featherweight

Dennis Bermudez submitted Clay Guida during a featherweight bout at a UFC on Fox event in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (Credit: AP)

Dennis Bermudez fought his way up the UFC featherweight rankings by winning seven bouts in a row.

That seventh win, a stoppage of Clay Guida, moved Bermudez into an area he had yet to experience: the conversation -- in a non-fight week -- of top contenders in the 145-pound division.

Seventh-ranked Bermudez, who trains out of Long Island MMA in Lindenhurst and Bellmore Kickboxing Academy, will get his next opportunity to spark debate. Bermudez will fight Ricardo Lamas on the main card at UFC 180 in Mexico City on Nov. 15. The UFC announced the bout Tuesday, along with the rest of main card headlined by heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez defending his title against Fabricio Werdum.

Velasquez and Werdum are coaching against one another in the premiere season of "The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America."

Bermudez (15-3, 7-1 UFC) submitted Guida in the second round at UFC Fight Night in July. It was his second straight finish and third overall during his win streak, which began after losing to Diego Brandao in the Season 14 "Ultimate Fighter" finale. Bermudez beat Jimy Hettes by technical knockout at UFC 171 in March.

No. 4 Lamas (14-3, 9-3) is coming off a June 28 unanimous decision over Hacran Dias. Before that, he lost a unanimous decision to featherweight champion Jose Aldo in February.

Other fights announced for UFC 180 include Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum, Diego Sanchez vs. Norman Parke and Erik Perez vs. Marcus Brimage.

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Chris Wade is fifth New York state wrestling champion to fight in UFC

Islip's Chris Wade grapples with North Babylon's George

Islip's Chris Wade grapples with North Babylon's George Estevez in their 140-pound quarterfinal match at the Suffolk County championships on Feb. 20, 2005. Wade won by decision, 3-0. (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

Wrestling, for Chris Wade, serves as the base model for all he does in mixed martial arts.

Training, cutting weight, grinding, performing in front of a large audience. It all stems from Wade's time wrestling for Islip High School and Nassau CC.

And when Wade enters the octagon inside Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California, to fight Cain Carrizosa at UFC 177 on Saturday, he will become the fourth active UFC fighter to have won a New York State wrestling title.

The list includes middleweight champion Chris Weidman (Baldwin), light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (Union-Endicott) and light heavyweight contender Gian Villante (MacArthur).

A fifth former state champion, Matthew Riddle of Saratoga Springs High School, also competed in the UFC from 2008-13, going 7-3 with two no contests.

Here's a look at how those five fighters won their state titles.

2002: Chris Weidman, Baldwin High School

Weidman, a senior, won the 189-pound state title over North Babylon's Chris Parris, 2-1 on criteria in overtime. In the semifinals, Weidman defeated Wayne Foster (Carthage), 12-4.

2003: Gian Villante, MacArthur High School

A year after losing in the state semifinals, Villante won the state title at 215 pounds. He decision end Zack Zerniak (Franklin Academy), 18-9, in the semifinals, then won a 7-5 decision over Mike Patterson (Wayne).

2004: Matthew Riddle, Saratoga Springs High School

Riddle pinned Huntington junior Jack Sullivan at 6:49 in overtime to win the 189-pound state title.

2005: Chris Wade, Islip High School

Wade won the 140-pound state title with an 8-4 decision over Fox Lane's Mike Cucolo. Wade decisioned Albert Gianforti (Canandaigua), 5-0, in the semifinals.

2005: Jon Jones, Union-Endicott High School

Jones lost to Jack Sullivan of Huntington in the 2004 semifinals at 189 pounds. The following year, the two met in the state final at 189 with Jones winning by decision, 2-1.

Note: Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (Niagara) placed fourth in both the 1997 and 1998 state tournaments.

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Chris Wade sets sights on Saturday's UFC 177 debut

Islip's Chris Wade is absent of nerves for his UFC debut at UFC 177 in Sacramento, Calif. The former state wrestling champion fights Cain Carrizosa on Aug. 30, 2014. (Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware)

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East Islip Health, and Fitness located at 269 Chris Wade

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Part of Chris Wade's mental training for mixed martial arts includes visualizing fighting his opponent inside the cage. How he moves, what he does, how Wade will defend such attacks and mount his own offense.

But when there's no opponent to go along with that scheduled fight, it makes seeing things in advance a little murky.

"When there's no one to visualize, it's the mystery man," said Wade, a 2005 state wrestling champion for Islip High School. "It's kind of hard to start to get that thought process rolling."

Wade, a lightweight fighter, found out on Aug. 15 his new manager booked his next fight. What he didn't know that night when going to bed -- eventually -- was who he'd be fighting. But, he did know where and when and for whom it would occur. Sacramento, California. Saturday, Aug. 30. Ultimate Fighting Championship.

That made the pesky detail of who would be across from him inside the octagon at UFC 177 a little easier to digest -- once the initial excitement of getting the call to the major leagues of MMA. It's the call just about every fighter awaits, like a baseball player in Triple-A waiting to make it to the big ballpark.

The following day, Wade found out his opponent -- undefeated Cain Carrizosa (6-0), who also will make his UFC debut.

Two weeks' notice is not a lot of time to prepare for any fight, let alone one in the sport's biggest promotion. It's not uncommon either, especially for newcomers. Such a quick turnaround, however, sits fine with Wade (7-1).

"Less time to dwell on it, less time to let the whole idea of UFC kind of start to overwhelm me a little," Wade said. "It's going to happen so fast, I'm going to be looking back on it, I feel like. I'm going to blink, and it's going to be gone."

Wade had just begun training camp for his lightweight title defense at Ring of Combat on Sept. 19 when the UFC came calling. At that point, he had to quickly intensify his preparations. Time to go hard with sparring, lifting, drilling and conditioning.

"You want to be at your peak," Wade said. "When an opportunity comes around like that, it's not always going to be the ideal situation."

Wade is the ninth active fighter from Long Island in the UFC, a group that includes training partners Ryan LaFlare and Dennis Bermudez.

"It's a massive leg up," Wade said of his teammates at Long Island MMA in Lindenhurst. "I know where I am when I'm working with them."

LaFlare is undefeated in his career (11-0, 4-0 UFC). Bermudez (15-3, 7-1) has won seven straight en route to a No. 7 ranking in the featherweight division.

"It gives me so much more confidence," said Wade, 26. "I know if I can hang with them, I feel like I can hang with anybody. Every time they get a win, it's even further validation for me that I'm where I'm supposed to be."

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@LaMonicaMark

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Against whom will Ronda Rousey next defend her UFC title against?

Cat Zingano Gina Carano Cris 'Cyborg' Justino Holly Holm Miesha Tate Someone else

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