Archive for the ‘Mixed Martial Arts’ category

UFC 100 Predictions

July 10, 2009

This year’s most anticipated MMA event UFC 100 will be taking place this Saturday night, July 11 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.  The card is stacked to say the least and features six of the top fighters in the world today.  Below are my predictions on the main event:

Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir – UFC Heavyweight Title Bout

This is the second time these two will have squared off in the Octagon.  At UFC 81 Mir defeated Lesnar by leg lock submission 90 seconds into the first round in their previous encounter.  In that fight Lesnar was able to get a take down just seconds into the fight and seemed to be in control early by using his size and strength advantage to pound Mir early.  Mir was able to keep his composure and took advantage of a Lesnar mistake by being able to get him into a leg lock and get Lesnar to tap.  Lesnar has admitted that he abandoned his game plan in the first fight which was to stand and strike with Mir and use his power and reach to his advantage.  I look for Lesnar to stick to that game plan this time around and wear down the smaller Mir in the same way that Lesnar was able to over power Randy Couture in his last fight in which he captured the UFC Heavyweight Title.  If Mir is able to weather the striking onslaught that is sure to come from Lesnar and take the fight to the ground then I like his chances of using his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills to score a second victory over Lesnar.  Mir looked impressive in his last fight with a TKO victory over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira while Lesnar has rebounded from the first defeat of his career with impressive victories over Heath Herring and Couture.  Lesnar lost to Mir the first time around because he got caught after making a mistake.  I don’t see him making that same mistake twice.  My prediction:  Lesnar by TKO in the second round.

Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves – UFC Welterweight Title Bout

UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre is arguably the best pound for pound fighter in mixed martial arts today.  He dominated B.J. Penn in his last fight to the point where Penn’s corner threw in the towel after the fourth round.  No matter what persona a fight takes on, GSP has proved time and time again that he has ability to adapt to any in ring situation.  Alves enters this contest on a seven fight winning streak including victories over Josh Koscheck and Matt Hughes.  Five of those seven victories were by KO or TKO.  On the surface, it looks as though Alves should have the advantage with his impressive striking ability while GSP should have the upper hand if the fight gets taken to the ground.  With all that being said, I like GSP’s ability to adapt to a stand up contest better than I do Alves ability to adjust to a potential ground game.  My prediction:  St. Pierre by decision

Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping – Middleweight Bout

The two coaches from The Ultimate Fighter Season Nine will finally get the chance to settle their differences in the octagon.  Henderson is a well accomplished veteran having simultaneously held the light heavyweight and middleweight championships while he competed in PRIDE.  Bisping is one of the best young fighters in the world of today having started off his career with an impressive 17-1 record.  Both fighters possess strong striking skills with Henderson having the advantage on the ground with his superior wrestling skills.  In the end I think that the more experienced Henderson will be able to use wrestling to his advantage and take Bisping out of his comfort zone.  My prediction:  Henderson by decision

Jon Fitch vs. Paul Thiago – Welterweight Bout

Fitch is one of the top welterweights in the world and has only lost once in his last 17 fights (a decision loss to St. Pierre at UFC 87).  Thiago enters this fight undefeated after scoring a TKO victory against the always tough Koscheck in his last fight.  That victory was a departure from Thiago’s usual strength which his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills.  Fitch has a solid ground game with a great wrestling background.  In addition to his skills on the mat, Fitch has a better striking skill set and should be able to use it to his advantage.  My prediction:  Fitch by TKO in the second round.

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher – Middleweight Bout

Having competed previously for DREAM and K-1, Akiyama will make his UFC debut against the always tough striker Alan Belcher.  Akiyama has better  take down and submission skills and should be able to use that to his advantage.   My prediction:  Akiyama by second round submission

The Ultimate Fighter Getting “Sliced”

June 2, 2009

He made his name on the internet as the star of amateur videos that would show him beating up people in backyards, parking lots, alleyways and anywhere a camera could be set up. 

He became such a phenomenon in the online world that eventually the world of mixed martial arts began to take note and the fighting career of Kevin Ferguson aka “Kimbo Slice” was born.  Elite XC signed Ferguson with the hope that he could become the face of their organization and give them mainstream notoriety.  Slice did become the center piece of Elite XC headlining both of their cards that aired on CBS network television.  His network debut against James Thompson in May 2008 was the most watched MMA event in history.  Ferguson did gain fame and notoriety…for the wrong reasons. 

Despite getting the TKO win in the third and final round that night, Ferguson was exposed as someone who would have no real shot of winning against any of the worlds top fighters.  He struggled and looked out of energy against Thompson, a journeyman fighter at best, who entered the cage that night having having lost six of his previous eight fights.

The end for Ferguson came three months later when he lost to last minute replacement Seth Petruzelli by TKO in the first round after just 14 seconds.  After two fights as the headliner, it was confirmed that Ferguson was nothing but a propped up internet star that had nowhere near the skills of a legitimate mixed martial arts fighter.  Shortly thereafter, Elite XC went out of business and Ferguson was out of job. 

UFC President Dana White was among the biggest detractors of Ferguson.  White said that he lacked ability and called him a bum.  He even suggested that Ferguson would get beat up by lightweights, which is not that bad unless you consider that he is a heavyweight.  White also said that the only way that he would allow Ferguson to compete was if he won UFC’s highly popular reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” in which the winner gets a six figure contract with the UFC. 

The story was broken yesterday by Yahoo Sports MMA writer Kevin Iole  that Slice will indeed be one of the 16 heavyweight contestants on the tenth season of TUF which begins taping today. 

Personally I couldn’t be happier.  I think this is just outstanding in the fact that I can’t wait to see how the other 15 little known fighters will react to living in a house and training with someone that has already made a name for himself. 

My gut feeling is that they will react to Ferguson like prisoners do when they are around someone who has notoriety in that they will be looking to take their shots at him.  Every guy in there will hope to get a piece of him inside of the octagon so that they can start making a name for themselves. 

I give all the credit in the world to Ferguson for taking on this challenge and trying to prove the doubters wrong.  He could have easily stayed out of the spotlight and gone somewhere else to continue his career.  He knows that there is a big target on his back but he also knows that he will have the chance to silence the biggest critic of them all in White and that would be more rewarding than any fight that he has ever won both in a cage or on the internet.

I will have my popcorn ready, my DVR set and I will gladly be watching it all unfold later this year.

Former baseball MVP Jose Canseco taking a shot at MMA

May 26, 2009

Who knows how long this will stay up but I had to post this up for pure entertainment value if nothing else. My oh my how baseball’s first 40/40 man has fallen from grace.  Check out the fact that he seems to injure his knee running from his opponent.

UFC 98 thoughts

May 23, 2009

The only fights I was able to see were Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida and Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra so those are the only two I will be commenting on. 

Lets start with the obvious.  If anyone had any doubts, Lyoto Machida is the real deal.  After the feeling out process in the first few minutes of the fight, he dominated Rashad Evans and completely controlled the pace of the fight and never allowed Evans to get into any kind of rhythm.  As has been the case in his previous fights, he used his “stick and move” tactics to land effective punches and then quickly back away from Evans and never allowing him to use his counter punching strengths.  While I have seen more lopsided fights and many worse knockouts, Machida beat Evans soundly and left no doubt about who was the better fighter on this night after knocking out the former Michigan State wrestler in the second round.  Right now I don’t see anyone in the light heavyweight division who can matchup with Machidas unique style and defeat him.  I can see The Dragon making a run at Anderson Silva’s title defense record and dominate the deep light heavyweight division.  This is just my opinion here but the only guy that I think has a chance at defeating him right now is Silva.  That’s a fight I love to see.  I know that Silva is currently the middleweight champion but he has been moving up in weight recently to fight in the 205 weight class.  I know that Silva’s recent fights have been anything but exciting but he is still one of the best fighters in the world and I really think that an opponent the caliber of Machida would bring out the best in him.  Of course all of the above is contingent on Anderson Silva being able to defeat Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 in August.

I was glad to see welterweights Matt Hughes and Matt Serra finally get into the octagon to settle their long running war of words.  I was not surprised to see Matt Hughes get the victory in this fight.  The only thing that did surprise me was that he was not able to get a submission victory through use of his ground game.  When these two were on their feet I thought that Serra was getting the best of things and winning the battle.  Hughes

 

UFC 98 Results

Undercard

George Roop over David Kaplan by split decision

Yoshiyuki Yoshida over Dave Wolff by submission in the first round

Krzystof Sozynski over Andre Gusmao by TKO in the first round

Kyle Bradley over Phillipe Nover by referee stoppage in the first round

Tim Hague over Patrick Barry by submission in the first round

Brock Larson over Mike Pyle by submission in the first round

Main Card

Frankie Edgar over Sean Sherk by unanimous decision

Chael Sonnen over Dan Miller by unanimous decision

Drew McFedries over Xavier Foupa-Pokam by TKO in the first round

Matt Hughes over Matt Serra by unanimous decision

Lyoto Machida over Rashad Evans by KO in the second round to capture the Light Heavyweight Championship