Saturday, May 26, 2012

dos Santos vs Mir Prediction

Since I'm in Las Vegas to see Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir fight, I figured I should do a quick breakdown and prediction. I would like to start this article by stating that I like both men. I will be happy no matter the outcome of this fight. I do not believe this fight will make it out of the 2nd round. Both men put away opponents quickly and efficiently. Whether it is a knockout or a broken limb, this fight will end in spectacular fashion.

Now, as we all know, Junior will look to utilize his boxing and knock out Mir. Mir will obviously want to get his fight into his realm, the ground. However, I don't believe Mir has the wrestling/takedown prowess to force this fight to the ground. So with that said, the question arises. Is Frank Mir's standup game good enough to hang with Junior? I just don't think it is. He has shocked a few in the past, such as Big Nog in their first fight and Kongo. But, Junior is a better striker than both of those men.

Now, if Mir does somehow get this fight to the ground, Junior is in a world of hurt. Frank rarely gets a fight to the ground (in top position) in which he doesn't finish the fight. With all the trash talk going around, I'm shocked that Big Nog is bashing Mir's jiu jitsu as simple. If it was so simple, then why did the greatest jiu jitsu heavyweight at the time (because Mir is now the greatest heavyweight jiu jitsu practitioner) get his arm broken and submitted? I understand if you don't like the guy for beating you, but don't try to diminish his accomplishments because you were too stupid to tap.

Now, if I'm a betting man, my money would be on Junior dos Santos. However, I rarely bet so I have to go with my gut on this one. I predict Frank Mir will shock the world and submit Junior dos Santos in the very first round.  I've said it already, whether it is a knockout or a broken limb, this fight will end in spectacular fashion.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Awesome Fights This Weekend on UFC on FOX 3

I wasn't expecting much from UFC on FOX 3 until I actually looked at the main card. There are some badass fights this weekend. (Commercials do suck, but at least they're produced better than the hour's worth of house ad filler we are forced to sit through during a typical $60 pay-per-view broadcast.) Here are the three fights I'm most enthused about:

(Note: though I fail to mention Pat Barry here, it's no disrespect and quite the opposite in fact...the guy brings it every fight, win, lose or double-KO. If Barry's on the card, entertainment is a foregone conclusion.)

1. Jim Miller vs. Nate DiazUntil he ran into the neutralizing energy vortex that is Benson Henderson, Jim Miller was on the fast track to a title shot. Miller is a stud at lightweight; he seems stronger than average in the class, has a solid foundation in wrestling, throws bombs, and most importantly fights a smart game. Like most victims of natural disasters, he simply had no way of preparing for Benson Henderson until it was too late. 

Nate Diaz is the perfect test to see if Miller is still a champion simply waiting to happen. Diaz is experienced, fearless, creative and simply does not fatigue. He also sports a big reach advantage over Miller which, like his older brother Nick, he can put to great use landing accurate shots in volume. If Jim Miller's going to survive Diaz' "rock-em-sock-em-robot" routine he'll have to start fast and put him away early (or otherwise suplex him for three rounds, a la Rory McDonald.)

2. Josh Koscheck vs. Johnny Hendricks
Koscheck and Hendricks have something in common: neither have any interest in wrestling Jon Fitch for three rounds inside the Octagon. Hendricks took the fight anyway, though, which became an instant classic when Hendricks one-punch KO'd the notoriously durable Fitch in just under 12 seconds. Though Hendricks' historic win brought him many new fans overnight, his MMA career is still young and there's no question he still feels he has a lot to prove.

Meanwhile, Fitch's close friend and former training partner Koscheck has proven nearly unbeatable, acting almost as a proverbial filter between the UFC's potential and bonafide welterweight contenders. Outside of current champ George St. Pierre, no fighter seems able to match Koscheck's wrestling ability, a fact which seems to have given him the confidence to assume his role of the UFC's token headhunter. While the resilient Mike Pierce gave him fits in their split decision slugfest back in February, Koscheck's veteran composure and superior wrestling secured him the victory. For Johnny Hendricks to get the upset victory, he'll have overcome a considerable experience gap while also contending with (arguably) the most aggressive striker he has faced to date in Josh Koscheck

3. Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares
Of the possible guest stars currently being considered for future episodes of "The Anderson Silva Show," Alan Belcher is probably the most intriguing. A promising middleweight whose career was nearly ended by eye surgery, Belcher is an exciting, dynamic and incredibly well-rounded whose UFC highlight reel includes dumping Patrick Cote upside his head in a picture-perfect pile driver. 

If Belcher normally throws a lot of leg kicks, we shouldn't be surprised if he alters his game plan on Saturday night when he faces the infamous leg-mangler known as Rousimar Palhares. Short, stock and powerful, Rousimar has become known for his unique mastery of offensive Brazilian jiu-jitsu, having won 4 of his last 5 victories by way of leg lock. So effective are Palhares' submissions that Belcher will undoubtedly have to account for it or risk being ensnared in the Brazilian's iron grip.

Historically, I've often found that cards and match-ups which look only mildly entertaining on paper usually play out that way. Conversely, cards which look like they'll be exciting nearly always deliver. I don't know why that is, or what it means. Maybe the UFC matchmakers just know what they're doing. 

Anyway, be sure tune in Saturday night. These look like good fights, and I'll be surprised if I'm wrong.