Monday, October 31, 2011

UFC 137 Recap - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

UFC 137 Recap - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

So for starters, my main card predictions weren't too bad, I got most of the winners. But my prelim predictions was way off this time. Let's dive straight in to it.

The Good

Nick Diaz
The obvious big winner of the night was Nick Diaz. His one-sided beating of BJ Penn was good to say the least. BJ looked good in round 1 and took it to Nick actually busting him up a bit. But in true BJ Penn fashion, he didn't training properly and gassed in the 2nd round. Diaz took advantage and put a beating on Penn throughout the rest of the fight that I've never seen him take. BJ was just run over.

After the fight, Diaz, called out GSP, calling him scared. GSP talked to Dana White after the fight and asked to fight Diaz instead of Condit. GSP stated that Nick Diaz was the most disrespectful human ever and he would destroy him. Well, Nick you got your wish to fight Georges. But now you'll be facing a motivated champion to not only beat you, but to destroy you.

Roy Nelson
Roy Nelson looked good in this fight. He fought a motivated Mirko Cro Cop who wanted nothing more than to get one more win before retirement. Mirko fought hard, but Nelson was just too much. Roy stood with Cro Cop and ate some big shots, at that point he took the fight to the ground and that proved to be the difference. Nelson's ground game was too good for Mirko to negate. The stoppage came early in the 3rd round when Nelson had full back mount and was just hammering shots to Cro Cop's head.

Going forward, I'd like to see Nelson fight Cheick Kongo. Both men are on the cusp of being a contender and this fight would help separate the pack at heavyweight.

Donald Cerrone
Cerrone always comes to fight and Saturday was no exception. This was an exciting fight with both Cerrone and Siver just throwing kicks. It was a fun fight but Cerrone proved why he'll always be a contender with a beautiful kick that started low and shot high for a massive head kick that dropped Siver. Cerrone pounced and immediately took his back and sunk in a rear naked choke.

Moving forward for Cerrone several options. Wait for the Ben Henderson/Clay Guida fight and take on the loser. Or drop to featherweight like he's threatening to do to face Nam Phan. In the post fight press conference Cerrone was adamant that he wanted to keep fighting and fight as soon as possible. And to grant his wishes, the UFC just announced, Cerrone will face Nate Diaz at UFC 141 on December 30th. You've got to respect a warrior like Cerrone.

Bart Palaszewski
Bart finally made his UFC debut after losing his last WEC bout almost 11 months ago. And he looked good. Palaszewski fought Tyson Griffin, a man who after having a lot of initial success had lost 3 straight as a lightweight before dropping to featherweight in his last outing. Obviously the new weight class is difficult for Griffin who failed to make weight for the fight and then got KO'd by Palaszewski. For his UFC debut, you couldn't have asked for more. Palaszewski looked good, had crisp striking and made quick work of Griffin.

Moving forward, I'm thinking Palaszewski should face Erik Koch. It would be a good test to see where he stacks in the featherweight division.

The Bad

Cheick Kongo
Kongo won this fight, but he just didn't have that killer instinct he usually has. I think the fight with Pat Barry rocked him a bit mentally. Kongo was extremely tentative and didn't move forward until later in the fight. He actually allow the woefully inexperienced Mitrione to dictate the pace. Kudo's on the win, but it was lackluster to say the least.

Moving forward I'd like to see Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo to lock horns. I think that fight could push one of them back into the title picture.

Ramsey Nijem
I'm putting Nijem into the bad category despite a one-sided performance against Daniel Downes. Nijem totally upset my prediction while he utilized his superior grappling and dominated Downes. But despite having multiple submission attempts, he could not put away Downes. Nijem is still a work in progress though, and if he shores up his striking and works on diversifying his submission game, he could turn into a real threat in the lightweight division.

Next for Nijem should be someone like Cody McKenzie, or maybe a step up in competition and face someone like Mark Bocek.

Brandon Vera
Vera got a crack at redemption and another shot at the UFC and he took that opportunity to get a much needed win. Now 2 things land Vera in the Bad category for me. First, he didn't utilize his superior striking abilities. Vera just doesn't have the killer in him anymore. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg during the commentary questioned "When did Vera lose his killer instinct?" I will tell you, it was when he faced Tim Sylvia. Sylvia put a beating on him, derailed his title aspirations and Vera has never looked the same since. If Vera wants to make the most of his second chance in the UFC, he needs to find that killer again.

The second reason I land him in the Bad category is Vera has not improved his ground game at all in his time in the UFC. Evidence of that is Marshall's armbar that actually broke Vera's arm. That is bad for 2 reasons, the first is not being able to defend himself on the ground. The second, he's just one bad dude for not tapping and surviving to win the decision.

Next up for Vera, a cast, some rehabilitation and a long time off before his next fight.

Matt Mitrione
Well, Mitrione wanted a step up in competition and a good test, he got one. Unfortunately for Mitrione, his inexperience and lack of aggressiveness were his downfall. Mitrione just couldn't seem to find his range and never really got off during the fight. Kongo who literally allowed Mitrione to dictate the pace early finally took some initiative and forced the fight to the ground. Mitrione showed he still doesn't have a ground game yet.

Moving forward for Mitrione I would love to see him matchup with Brendan Schaub. Both are up-and-comers, both possess good hands and both have fallen in recent step-ups in competition.


Hatsu Hioki
Hioki came into this fight with George Roop as the number 3 ranked featherweight in the world. Roop who is a solid fighter was clearly the underdog. Roop made this a fight, he really took it to Hioki who didn't seem to know what to do against Roop. Hioki a submission specialist never really pushed to get the fight into his arena on the ground. In my opinion, Roop won this fight. I truly believe he was robbed by the judges.

Now if Hioki had won this fight in convincing fashion, I believe he would be next in line for a title shot. Instead, I think he needs to prove himself after such a horrendous performance. So next for Hioki I think should be a contender fight with someone like Diego Nunes or Mark Hominick.

Dennis Siver
Siver lands in the Ugly category for the first time for me. He is a great kickboxer and he had nothing for Cerrone. He looked flat and after being rocked by the head kick, he showed he doesn't have a ground game being easily submitted by Cerrone. For Siver, this is a major set back.

Going forward, I think a matchup with Melvin Guillard would benefit both fighters. Both men like to strike, both are coming off of losses and it would be an entertaining fight for the fans.

Tyson Griffin
Wow, what to say for Griffin. The man had great promise early in his career but has since really fallen on hard times. After 3 straight losses he dropped weight classes and earned a victory. In his second outing at featherweight, he did not make weight, and then he got run over by Bart Palaszewski. After Takanori Gomi knocked Griffin out, his chin has looked susceptible and Bart found the button to knock Tyson out again.

Griffin needs to re-evaluate his career. Not making weight is a cardinal sin of MMA. And then getting knocked out for the second time in his career isn't helping either. For a possible opponent, maybe someone like Mike Thomas Brown would be a good stylistic matchup.

BJ Penn
Last but never least, BJ Penn. I hope he is serious about retirement. BJ is a legend of the sport, only the 2nd man to ever win titles in 2 different weight divisions. And a well trained BJ can beat anyone in the world. But his constant inconsistency due to his lack of cardio training is hard to watch. He's a legend, and he'll be in the Hall of Fame one day. I think it's time to let your fight career go and focus on other things, you're legacy is cemented.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

BJ Penn and Nick Diaz Square Off

So, it appears Nick Diaz finally showed up to a press conference. Here's the photo proof of BJ Penn and Nick Diaz squaring off.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

UFC 137 Main Card Predictions

Here are my UFC 137 Main Card Predictions.

BJ Penn vs Nick Diaz

The new Main Event, BJ Penn versus Nick Diaz. This is one of the most talked about fights of the year. Nick Diaz making his way back to the UFC after a very successful reign as the Strikeforce welterweight champion. To welcome him back was initially going to be UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. But due to his crazy no-shows to consecutive press conferences, he was pulled from that fight and will now face 2 time champion BJ Penn. This will be a good test to see if Diaz was truly deserving of his title shot.

Penn and Diaz, in my opinion, are mirror images of each other. Both possess lethal striking skills and both have high level, world class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I would love to see how this fight would pan out on the ground. But I have a feeling that the 2 men will stand and trade with one another.

Now the biggest X factor in this fight is always Penn's cardio. If Penn has trained properly, this fight could be a very entertaining event. If Penn gasses out, I could see Diaz stealing this fight in the later rounds.

However, in my opinion, Penn is the better fighter and he has most definitely faced the tougher competition in his career. This will be an uphill battle for Diaz. I expect that Penn's experience and cage savvy will be too much for Diaz, who will find himself in serious trouble in this fight.

My prediction is that Penn will rock Diaz with a big shot, Diaz will fold and Penn will jump on him and choke him out with a 2nd round rear naked choke.

Cheick Kongo vs Matt Mitrione

The wily veteran versus the up-and-comer. Kongo is coming into this fight on-the-heels of his hailmary knockout win over Pat Barry. Mitrione is undefeated at 5-0 and taking his first serious step up in competition. Now going into this fight, Mitrione and Kongo have talked about standing and trading. Mitrione definitely doesn't lack confidence. Knowing Kongo, he will try to utilize some offensive wrestling and work some ground-and-pound. I expect Mitrione to see that coming and utilize takedown defense and if he does go down, I think he'll be strong enough to get back to this feet.

So this fight boils down to who lands that big shot first. As we've seen, Kongo can come back if you don't finish him when the opportunity presents itself. Now I like Mitrione, and think he has a great future in this sport, but this fight is a big step in competition.

My prediction is that Kongo utilizes his experience and great striking and knocks Mitrione out in the 2nd round.

Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs Roy Nelson

Loser gets shown the door fight, in my opinion. Both men are entering this fight on a 2 fight losing skid. I believe that whoever loses will get cut by the UFC. That makes this fight prediction for me difficult because I like both fighters and hope they both find success.

The fight boils down to who lands the big shot first. Cro Cop has legendary power in his legs and Nelson has a big overhand right. On paper, Nelson's ground game is way above Cro Cop's abilities but Nelson rarely utilizes it, preferring to stand and trade with opponents. Nelson hasn't won by submission since 2006. We'll see if Nelson tries to take this fight to the ground.

If Nelson doesn't pressure Cro Cop and let's him pick his shots, Nelson could wake up from his coma, cut from the UFC. I believe Big Country Nelson is smart enough to know he can't just stand in front of Cro Cop and trade. I expect him to get this fight to the ground.

My prediction is Roy Nelson finally wears Cro Cop down and submits him late in the 3rd round via arm triangle.

Scott Jorgensen vs Jeff Curran

Jeff Curran is finally making his return to the UFC after 7 years. His only UFC appearance was a loss to Matt Serra at UFC 46. Curran is a veteran to say the least. He's fought in every major promotion on the planet at one time or another to include: UFC, WEC, Pride, Bellator, Strikeforce and KOTC. He's fought everywhere.

His opponent to welcome him back is Scott Jorgensen. Jorgensen is no easy opponent even though he doesn't have anything near the amount of experience Curran does. This fight will be determined on where it takes place. Jorgensen has ground skills, but prefers to stand and trade. Curran has a single knockout to his credit in 33 wins, in contrast to his 19 victories via submission. He definitely wants this fight on the ground where his jiu jitsu can dominate.

As much as I would like to see Curran get a win, I believe that Jorgensen is the better fighter. My prediction is Jorgensen to win via unanimous decision.

Hatsu Hioki vs George Roop

Hioki is on most top 10 featherweight lists, some even as high as number 2. I believe that if Hioki can finish Roop he could be a on short path to a title shot. Roop on the other hand is still a mid-pack fighter in the featherweight division. A win here would be tremendous for Roop's career. The key to this fight is where it takes place. Hioki is a submission fighter winning half of his 24 wins via submission. Roop does not want to end up on the ground with Hioki and will look to use his takedown defense and superior striking.

My prediction is that Hioki will be too much. He will get this fight to the ground and submit Roop in the 2nd round via armbar.

There are my UFC 137 Main Card Predictions. Also check out my UFC 137 Prelim Predictions here.

Viacom Buys Majority Stake of Bellator

Big news today about Viacom buying a majority stake of Bellator Fighting Championships. Bjorn Rebney will remain in charge of Bellator but this puts Bellator into a seriously stable financial future.
“It puts all of those cornerstones of ownership in place for us,” Rebney said. “Which is something that’s been so seriously lacking in the MMA space with so many different companies, including Strikeforce and the IFL and Affliction and all the different failures that have occurred.… It alleviates those issues.”
The face of Bellator, lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez stated
“They’ll have a ton of more money to negotiate with, as long as I keep doing well and do what I’m supposed to do, the future looks bright. I was with a lot of promotions that failed, that flopped, and this is actually working. Everything’s coming to fruition.”
Along with Viacom buying a majority stake of Bellator, they have negotiated a move to Spike TV in 2013. These moves now solidify Bellator as the number 2 mixed martial arts organization behind the UFC.

UFC 137 Prelim Predictions

Here are my UFC 137 Prelim Predictions.

Dennis Siver vs Donald Cerrone

What a great matchup. This fight will propel the winner into the top 10 and some bigger fights. Siver is riding a 4 fight win streak and Cerrone has quietly strung together a 5 fight win streak. I think this will be a tough fight for both men. Cerrone has an good ground game but I'm not sure he will be able to keep Siver down if he gets him there. On the feet, Siver is a great striker and should be able to nullify Cerrone's reach advantage. I expect this fight to be fought primarily on the feet and I expect this to be a close fight.

My prediction is Cerrone by split decision.

Tyson Griffin vs Bart Palaszewski

Palaszewski is a well rounded fighter that made his name in the WEC. Bart hasn't fought since losing his last fight in the WEC back in December of last year. Griffin has found some new life dropping to featherweight after he lost 3 straight fights at lightweight. In his first fight at featherweight back in June, he won a majority decision against Manny Gamburyan. Both men are good fighters with well rounded skills. But I think this fight will be primarily a standup fight. Palaszewski tends to lose when he fights better competition. Along with the 10 month layoff and making his UFC debut, I think this doesn't bode will for Palaszewski.

My prediction is Griffin by unanimous decision.

Brandon Vera vs Eliot Marshall

Striker versus grappler matchup. Vera will want to keep this fight on the feet to utilize his muay thai while Marshall will look to get this fight grounded. Now Vera is getting this fight after his last loss against Thaigo Silva was ruled a no contest due to failing his drug test after the fight. Vera had been cut by the UFC after his 3rd straight loss, so I expect him to come out guns blazing for this opportunity to stay in the UFC.

Marshall on the other side, finally made it back to the UFC after 3 fights outside the UFC in 2010. In his first fight back, he lost via TKI to Luiz Cane. I believe Vera's striking is better than Cane's so I expect Marshall to do anything he can to get Vera to the ground.

My prediction is Vera finds the win column finally with a unanimous decision.

Ramsey Nijem vs Daniel Downes

Ramsey the Ultimate Fighter13 finalist who last saw action in the finale getting knocked out by Tony Ferguson. In Downes, Ramsey will face another heavy handed striker. Both men are very well rounded considering the limited experience both men have. However, I believe the experience edge goes to Downes who has 4 more fights and has fought tougher competition.

My prediction is Downes will win via 2nd round TKO.

Chris Camozzi vs Francis Carmont

Camozzi will welcome Carmont to the UFC. Carmont is riding a 5 fight win streak into his UFC debut. Camozzi is 6-2 in his last 8 fights while fighting increasing competition. Both men are well rounded and I expect this fight to be fought everywhere possible. However, Carmont is making his UFC debut, fighting a UFC veteran, and this is his first trip to the US, I expect his nerves to be rattled.

My prediction is that the fight is will be tightly contested by Camozzi will find a way to earn the unanimous decision.

Dustin Jacoby vs Clifford Starks

2 men making their UFC debuts. Jacoby is 6-0 and Starks is 7-0. Jacoby almost went from pro-debut to UFC pay-per-view main card. But when Brad Tavares got injured he got dropped back to the under card. This is a good matchup of 2 good prospects. Both men have some ground game, but both men have the majority of their victories standing up. So I expect these 2 to bang. Jacoby is a killer having finished every opponent he has faced, 5 by TKO and 1 via submission. Starks has finished 4 of his 7 opponents. I don't expect this fight to see the judges.

My prediction is that Jacoby keeps his killer ways going and TKO's Starks in the 1st round.

These are my UFC 137 Prelim Predictions. Check out my UFC 137 Main Card Predictions here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Random Pics of Bones vs Rampage

This is several weeks late, but here are some pics from UFC 135's main event. Jone "Bones" Jones versus Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

And of course, a couple pics of the rings girls!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Silva Ducking Sonnen?

So, I just finished reading a short interview with Ed Soares, Anderson Silva's manager. In the interview Soares claims that Sonnen doesn't deserve another title shot. But as I read this interview it feels like Soares is whining and is in fact trying to duck Chael Sonnen. My first piece of evidence is how he answered the question about Michael Bisping.

When asked if Michael Bisping beats Jason Miller would he be a suitable challenger?
“I’ll be honest with you: I never even really thought of Bisping too much. Not that I didn’t respect him as a fighter -- I do. It was just that it didn’t cross my mind because there’s so many things happening all the time. People talk about Chael and Brian Stann, and sometimes people are focused on the TUF show. But I think Bisping could be a good opportunity. GSP could be a good opportunity. There’s a lot of great opportunities."
If Chael Sonnen isn't deserving of a title shot and you want some new face to kick in, why not the winner of Bisping and Miller? Why aren't they deserving? Besides mentioning GSP, he gave no other names as to "suitable" contenders. Why is that?

Then he goes on to say this little gem.

Why do we have to keep repeating these fighters? We fought Rich Franklin twice. We’ll probably end up having to fight Chael twice. We’re going to end up fighting probably Dan Henderson twice. It’s just like, it would be nice to see some new faces in there getting a crack at it.”
Really, the only person Anderson fought twice was Rich Franklin, the man he took the title from. Rich won a couple fights and got a chance to get the title back. Chael would only be be the second person he's had to rematch in the UFC, and with good cause, Chael almost beat him. The likelihood of him fighting Dan Henderson again is slim in my opinion. Dan has stated several times that he has no desire to make the weight cut to 185 pounds anymore unless it is for a title shot. I don't think the UFC will give him a title shot without fighting a number 1 contender fight. Which is probably why he's coming back to the UFC as a light heavyweight fighting Shogun. The only other fighter he's ever rematched was Yushin Okami and their first fight was outside the UFC. Silva really has cleared out the division, so it's either rematch guys who have earned another title shot, or move up to light heavyweight.

So, why then is Silva and Soares crying so hard about having to rematch a man he beat while he supposedly had an injury? Why not accept this fight with open arms so that you can prove how much better you are? Why does it feel like Silva and Soares are trying to duck Chael Sonnen?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

GSP out of UFC 137

News just came out that Georges St. Pierre is out of UFC 137 due to a knee injury he suffered in training. BJ Penn vs Nick Diaz will now be the main event for the card.

Rumor has it that Josh Koscheck offered to fight Carlos Condit on just 10 days notice but Dana White has confirmed that Condit will wait for GSP. According to White, the champion will be ready in a couple of months.

Unfortunate news for for fans everywhere. Again, GSP is out of UFC 137.

The Sonnen-Silva Saga

Before their first fight, I thought the Sonnen-Silva saga was all hype. Then Chael Sonnen delivered 4 and 1/2 rounds of backing everything he said he would do. Now the Sonnen-Silva saga will take a new twist.

After a one-sided submission victory over Brian Stann, Sonnen immediately called out Silva for a rematch. Silva himself has remained fairly silent but his manager Ed Soares has been extremely vocal about not wanting a rematch. Sonnen has gotten so far under Ed Soares skin that now Ed is firing personal insults at Sonnen. In the war or words, Sonnen is most definitely winning.

Ed is adamant that there is no need for a rematch. Silva beat him and did it injured according to Anderson's camp after the fight. But the fans absolutely want this fight. Whether you like him or hate him, Chael Sonnen has people talking, he's get people excited for this fight, and he was even willing to up the stakes.

During his call out of Anderson, he offered to leave the UFC forever if Silva won. Today, during an interview with Jim Rome he has rescinded his offer stating that Anderson didn't accept it, so he's pulling the offer. He also made one extremely obvious statement, "Ed Soares doesn't make fights, Dana White and Joe Silva make the fights".

That being said, I believe Dana White and Joe Silva will make this fight happen. It's already got a hype machine going, it's going to sell big pay-per-view numbers and we all want to know if it was a fluke or not. Supposedly Anderson was hurt, if that's the case, he should beat Sonnen with relative ease this time around. Or maybe that was just an excuse to try an explain his poor performance and walk-off homerun he hit with his 5th round triangle choke.

The Sonnen-Silva saga hasn't been fully played out yet and I for one, want to see this rematch.

Vinny Magalhaes

Vinny Magalhaes, the current M-1 light heavyweight champion may have just quit. Some of you may remember Vinny from season 8 of the Ultimate Fighter series. Vinny was a finalist on that season losing to Ryan Bader. After that fight he lost to Eliot Marshall and was released by the UFC.

Since then, Vinny has been on a roll. Magalhaes has gone 7-1 since his release and is currently riding a 5 fight win streak. In all 7 of his victories since being cut by the UFC he has finished every opponent. 2 fights ago, Vinny won the M-1 light heavyweight title by submitting then champion Viktor Nemkov via gogoplata neck crank. After his first title defense against Mikhail Zayats, in which he TKO'd the Russian, Vinny went back to watch the tape.

According to Vinny, he was appalled at what he saw.

"After re-watching the whole fight, I just realized that every time I fought for M-1 against a Russian fighter, I was the hand picked guy. I mean, I am assuming that after seeing one of the M-1 directors rooting for my opponent every time he'd hit me, but not having any reaction when I'd hit him nor when I dropped him. Thanks M-1, I appreciate your business, you can have your belt back."
Immediately after this statement, Magalhaes shot a tweet to UFC president Dana White asking how many more fights he needed to win to get back into the UFC.

Time will tell how this all plays out, but for now, it appears that Magalhaes has vacated his M-1 title and is desperate to get back into the UFC.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UFC 136, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

UFC 136, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

Let's start with the main event. Frankie Edgar again takes a 1st round beating from Maynard but responds with a 4th round knockout. You just can't get much better than that. Edgar who has seen some criticism for not finishing opponents put an exclamation mark on the night. Next for Edgar will probably be the winner of Clay Guida and Ben Henderson now that Zuffa announced today that Gilbert Melendez will defend his Strikeforce belt one more time against Jorge Masvidal.

Jose Aldo had a good night en route to another unanimous decision victory. Some say that Kenny Florian was his strongest test as champion, I'm not sure if I agree. However, Aldo handled Florian's clinch-and-grind well. And score a one-sided unanimous decision. Next for Aldo will probably be Chad Mendes.

Chael Sonnen threw Brain Stann around like he was his kid brother eventually choking out Stann. After the one-sided beating, he immediately called out Anderson Silva. And issued a WWEish challenge, "If I win, you leave the division, if you win, I'll leave the UFC for good." Sonnen is one of the best at hyping fights. Next for Sonnen will be Anderson Silva.

Joe Lauzon did what no one expected and finished Melvin Guillard in just 47 seconds. The phrase "to get Lauzoned" will be sure to catch on. This isn't his first unexpected victory, let's recall his UFC debut against Jens Pulver when he knocked him out in 48 seconds. Lauzon is a fun fighter and always comes to fight. He'll probably never be a top contender, but he'll always be a great gatekeeper to move to the upper echelon of the division. Next for Lauzon, I'd like to see him rematch George Sotiropoulos.

Last on the Good list for me is Nam Phan. Phan utilized his superior boxing en route to a unanimous decision. The decision he should have received the last time these 2 fought. The win is Phan's first in the UFC and hopefully he can move on. Garcia is already asking for a 3rd fight. Next for Phan should be someone like Josh Grispi or Cub Swanson.

The Bad

Demian Maia falls to the Bad category with his solid, but uninspiring performance against Jorge Santiago. I believe the UFC offered Santiago on a silver platter for Maia who should have outclassed him easily and finished him early. Instead, Santiago pushed him to a decision. Maia, wins, but it's nothing to write home about. Next for Maia

Anthony Pettis gets a Bad rating as well. In a battle of great strikers, they turned it into a 15 minute wrestling match. Maybe Pettis lands in this category because of my disappointment that he didn't strike. Maybe he should be elevated to the Good category due to the fact that he landed 6 takedowns in this fight, 2 more than in his previous 7 fights combined. But overall, it was a pretty boring fight, so Pettis gets to remain in the bad category. Next for Pettis I think should be Joe Lauzon. Lauzon has decent stand-up and great jiu jitsu, he would test him like any good gatekeeper should.

Gray Maynard gets a bad rating for his first loss of his career. In another jaw-dropper of a 1st round, Maynard failed to finish Edgar after having him hurt badly. In spectacular fashion he lost this fight by 4th round knockout. But that should never have happened if he would have finished Edgar when he had him on the brink.  Next for Maynard should be the loser of Clay Guida and Ben Henderson if he wants to get right back into the title hunt. He and Edgar are 1-1-1 now, a fourth fight seems in order, down the road.

The Ugly

I have to start with Kenny Florian. Now I'll admit, I'm a big Kenny Florian fan. But I was extremely disappointed in his performance. I think Kenny needs to seek some help for his mental issues in title fights. Kenny destroys his opponents with crisp striking, vicious elbows and good jiu jitsu. In his last 2 title fights he looks like he's trying to channel his inner Randy Couture and use clinching and dirty boxing. That is not how Kenny normally fights, why change up so drastically? The main thing in this fight with Aldo that had me yelling instructions at my TV was elbows. Kenny is known for vicious elbows. All the times he had Aldo pinned to the cage, not one elbow. Every time Aldo took Kenny down, not one elbow. I remember the fight he had with Guida, he busted Guida open with his elbows and that was one bloody fight. No one has busted Aldo up, no one has pushed him into a nasty fight. Kenny could have done that, but instead he's 0-3 in title fights and probably won't see another one. Kenny needs to find some love for the sport to just compete or he should retire if he is only after the belt. Next for Kenny should be a serious re-evaluation of his career.

Melvin Guillard gets into the ugly category by being outclassed on his feet. Lauzon dropped him with a counter punch and pounced to finish the fight via rear naked choke. Guillard was a 4-1 one favorite to win this fight, and he should have walked through an opponent with terrible stand-up in comparison to his own. Guillard who thought he should be next in line for a title shot now gets thrown back down the ladder. Next for Guillard in my opinion should be Josh Neer. Neer who has recently returned to the UFC was Melvin's first loss in the UFC. A chance to get some revenge might help Guillard get back on track.

The last bit of ugly was Brian Stann's performance. He has shown that he still can't fight a good wrestler. Stann is a stand up fighter with zero ground game. I think Stann needs some time to work on his ground game and then maybe a fight with someone like CB Dollaway to test his new skills.

That wraps up my analysis of UFC 136. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in all their glory.

Friday, October 7, 2011

UFC 136 Weigh-in Results

UFC  136 Weigh-in Results and all fighters made weight. Looking forward to an amazing fight card.

Frankie Edgar (155) vs Gray Maynard (154.5)
Jose Aldo (145) vs Kenny Florian (145)
Chael Sonnen (185.5) vs Brian Stann (186)
Melvin Guillard (155.5) vs Joe Lauzon (155.5)
Nam Phan (145) vs Leonard Garcia (145)
Jeremy Stephen (156) vs Anthony Pettis (154.5)
Demian Maia (185) vs Jorge Santiago (185)
Stipe Miocic (236) vs Joey Beltran (245)
Steve Cantwell (186) vs Mike Massenzio (185)
Aaron Simpson (186) vs Eric Schafer (185.5)
Tiequan Zhang (146) vs Darren Elkins (145)

What an amazing fight card. UFC 136 is sure to have some explosive fights!

Here's a couple of weigh-in pictures.
Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard

Jose Aldo vs Kenny Florian

Chael Sonnen vs Brian Stann

Thursday, October 6, 2011

UFC 136 Main Card Predictions

Here are my UFC 136 Main Card Predictions. This card is absolutely stacked.
Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard

What a main event. If this fight is half as good as their second fight, this fight will be awesome. I believe Maynard will look to get this fight to the ground more than he did in their second fight. I think he knows that he has to ground Edgar to truly ensure a victory. On the other side, Edgar will shore up his boxing defense and won't let another beating happen, like in the first round of their last fight.

However, I do expect a very similar fight to the last one. I think Edgar will utilize his speed and takedown defense well, again. Maynard will look to land power shots and move the fight to the ground.

My prediction is Edgar via unanimous decision.

Jose Aldo vs Kenny Florian

Aldo finally looked beatable in his last fight when he gassed and Mark Hominick took it to him in the last round of their fight. I think this may spell trouble for Aldo. Florian is an extremely well-rounded fighter would can take this fight anywhere. In my opinion Florian's only weakness is his mental state. In both title fight appearances he's had in the past against, Sean Sherk and BJ Penn, he mentally psyched himself out before the fight. That weakness Aldo showed in his last fight may be all Florian needs to get mentally right.

I think this fight will be primarily a stand up fight. I don't think Kenny wants to test Aldo's jiu jitsu. I believe this will be a technical striking battle until someone gets hurt. Kenny is notorious for striking until the submission presents itself, whereas Aldo looks to demolish his opponent with strikes.

My prediction is Kenny Florian springs the upset with a 4th round rear naked choke victory.
Chael Sonnen vs Brian Stann

This is a contrast of styles. Stann is a powerful striker and Sonnen is an elite wrestler. I expect Stann to land a few shots standing before getting taken down by Sonnen. Sonnen will then look to grind Stann with ground-and-pound.

I honestly think Stann's only shot at victory is if he catches Sonnen with a big shot. Most of this fight will be on the ground with Sonnen on top.

My prediction is Sonnen via unanimous decision.
Melvin Guillard vs Joe Lauzon

Guillard has been looking unstoppable of late destroying his last 2 opponents and riding a 5 fight win streak into this fight. Lauzon is 4-2 in his last 6 fights but is always dangerous in every fight he's in. Lauzon makes no secret of his gameplan. He wants this fight on the ground, where he's scored 75% of his wins via submission. Guillard obviously wants this fight standing considering he's scored 19 of his wins via knockout.
This fight for me comes down to who can strike first. If Guillard can catch Lauzon early, he'll win this fight via (T)KO, whereas if Lauzon secures an early takedown and begins working his top game, I think he has a great chance to finish Guillard via submission.

My prediction is Guillard scores that big shot and knocks Lauzon out via 1st round TKO.

Nam Phan vs Leonard Garcia

I'm not 100% if this fight will be on the main card or the first fight on the undercard. I'm hoping it makes the main card. Phan and Garcia will rematch the controversial split decision that Garcia earned back in December.

I expect this fight to look very similar to the last one in which Garcia throws wild haymakers the entire fight and Phan uses crisp boxing to pick him apart. Hopefully the judges don't make the same mistake as last time and rob Phan of the victory.

My prediction is that Nam Phan utilizes that crisp boxing and scores a unanimous decision victory.

What an amazing card from top to bottom. I'd buy a pay-per-view just to watch the prelims if I could. This card is just stacked. Thank you Joe Silva and Dana White.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

UFC 136 Prelim Predictions

Here are my UFC 136 Prelim Predictions. This fight card in my opinion is absolutely stacked. From the 2 title fights on the main card to this amazing undercard. I wish I had tickets to the fight.
Demian Maia vs Jorge Santiago

Both men are coming into this contest off of a loss. However, I feel like this should be a gimme fight for Maia. Santiago is now in his second stint in the UFC but has not fought the level of competition that Maia has and he has lost to most of the middle level fighters he's faced.

The interesting aspect of this fight is that Santiago is more of a submission specialist than striker and we all know that Maia is a Brazilian jiu jitsu master. This fight could very well be a jiu jitsu battle.

My prediction is Maia via 2nd round rear naked choke.
Anthony Pettis vs Jeremy Stephens

This will be a war. 2 amazing strikers that will stand toe-to-toe until someone gets knocked out or time expires. Expect fireworks from this fight. How this fight isn't on the main card I'll never understand.

Pettis is coming in off his loss to Clay Guida and Stephens will be riding a 2 fight win streak into this fight. As I've said, both men like to bang so don't expect this fight to go to the ground.

My prediction is that Stephens by 2nd round TKO.

Joey Beltran vs Stipe Miocic

Another fight with 2 strikers looking for the knockout. Beltran, a UFC veteran will take on newcomer Miocic. This fight will only go to the ground if one of them gets knocked out. I've got to think that Miocic will have some jitters making his UFC debut.

My prediction is Beltran utilizes his experience and scores a 3rd knockout.
Tiequan Zhang vs Darren Elkins

This fight should be interesting. Elkins is a solid well-rounded fighter, while Zhang is a submission machine. Expect Zhang to try and push this fight to the ground while Elkins will probably not want to test Zhang's ground game.

In their combined 30 fights, only 4 times has either man gone the distance. I expect that this fight won't see a decision either.

My prediction is Tiequan Zhang via rear naked choke.

Aaron Simpson vs Eric Schafer

This fight card is stacked when this fight is almost the first fight of the night. Aaron Simpson will look to utilize his great wrestling in this battle. Eric Schafer is no slouch on the ground and has some good jiu jitsu.

I think this fight could be a test of wills. I expect both men to test each other on the feet. Once the first big shot is landed, I expect the recipient of that shot to attempt to take the fight to the ground.

My prediction is Eric Schafer by split decision.

Steve Cantwell vs Mike Massenzio

Not sure how this is the first fight of the night, but Cantwell, the former WEC light heavyweight champion will take on Massenzio. I believe Cantwell is the better striker of the 2 and I believe Massenzio will want this fight on the ground. Both men are well-rounded but I believe Massenzio will look for a ground battle where he'll be more comfortable.

Cantwell is no stranger to the ground and has several wins via submission. But I believe Cantwell will look to keep the fight standing and use his power.

My prediction is Cantwell by 2nd round knockout.

So, these are my predictions for the UFC 136 prelims.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

UFC Live 6, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Since no undercard fights were shown, I’m just going to talk about the main card that I saw. UFC Live 6, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Let’s begin with the Good.

The Good

Dominick Cruz shows that he has the intelligence to be the champion. Instead of coming out and fighting his typical fight, he used his wrestling abilities to ground the high flying Mighty Mouse. Demetrious Johnson fought well, but Cruz’s smart gameplan showed why he is the champion. Moving forward is either a trilogy fight with Urijah Faber or a rematch with Brian Bowles, who he took the title from.

Next is Stefan Struve. I was really worried going into this fight that Pat Barry had actually trash talked his way into a stand up fight. I thought Struve would forget his ground game and stand with Barry. The first round, he did just that. But in the second round Struve utilized his excellent jiu jitsu and submitted Barry. Moving forward for Struve I like the winner of Chieck Kongo vs Matt Mitrione.

Matt Wiman showed that the first fight with Mac Danzig was no fluke. As I was watching this fight I was amazed at the amount of punishment Danzig took. Wiman kept thrown vicious elbows and monster power shots. I’m actually happy that this fight didn’t have a finish. Both men left it in the cage and Wiman got a good victory. Moving forward for Wiman, I’d like to see take a step up and fight the winner of Jeremy Stephens vs Anthony Pettis.

Anthony Johnson looked like he was in a different league in this fight. Brenneman had absolutely nothing to offer Johnson. I’m actually glad this fight was stopped a bit prematurely because it saved Brenneman from taking any more damage. I think Johnson needs a step up in competition. Moving forward, I’d love to see a rematch to see how his improved takedown defense stacks up against Josh Koscheck. 

The Bad

Demetrious Johnson falls into this category despite a gutsy performance. The reason he’s in the Bad category is his takedown defense and his inability to get back to his feet. Cruz really took his speed advantage away by grounding him at will. I do truly appreciate that he knew he was losing and actually fought like a man possessed to try and get the victory. Moving forward I think a match with the loser of Urijah Faber vs Brian Bowles would move him back into title contention. Also, if the UFC does add the 125 pound flyweight division, I’d love to see him drop down.

Mac Danzig hits the bad category for just not winning. Danzig left everything in the cage and fought as hard as he could. Wiman just had a little to much for him. Danzig again, fought well until the last 2 minutes of the fight. In my opinion the fight could have gone either way at that point. But Danzig failed to secure position and let Wiman sweep him. The rest is history. Moving forward, a rematch with Josh Neer who is now back in the UFC again.

The Ugly

Pat Barry, what can I say, the man needs to learn some takedown defense, some submission defense, and how to get the fight back to the feet. Moving forward, if he has any hope at a long MMA career, he needs to get an education on ground fighting. If he doesn’t he should leave the UFC and go fight in K-1.

Charlie Brenneman is a one dimensional fighter. He has his takedowns and wrestling. But the moment he runs into a man with takedown defense he has nothing. Anthony Johnson show just that. This fight was a completely one-sided beatdown that the referee mercifully stopped. Moving forward, hire a boxing coach.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Random Pictures from UFC 135

I thought I'd post some pictures from UFC 135. I had a great time and here are some pictures of the various MMA celebrities I met.

Jason "Mayhem" Miller

Bruce Buffer

Duane "Bang" Ludwig

Brendan "The Hybrid" Schaub

Skyscrape from Tapout

Frank Mir

"Sugar" Rashad Evans

Mark DellaGrotte

Mike Goldberg

Michael "The Count" Bisping

Eliot "The Fire" Marshall

Punkass and Skyscrape from Tapout