Posts Tagged ‘Chris Lytle’

Report: Josh Koscheck Out of UFC 151 Bout With Jake Ellenberger

MMA DieHards Awards: Fights of the Year

(The MMA DieHards staff has compiled a list of the best fighter of the year, fight of the year, KO of the year, submission of the year and breakthrough fighter of the year to close out 2011.)

Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58
The best way to cap off a Bellator season tournament is with a candidate for fight of the year honors.

When Chandler jumped in the cage to take a shot at Alvarez’s title, he was anything but intimated staring across at the lightweight champ with the home town, Philadelphia crowd behind him.  This was evident with the quick knock down that almost ended the night early for Alvarez.

But, typical of Alvarez, he made an amazing recovery to put his challenger back on his heels.  With the momentum dramatically swaying back and forth, both fighters appeared to have the victory within their grasps as the rounds progressed.

Unfortunately for Alvarez, the fight came to an end midway through the fourth round when he succumbed to Chandler’s rear-naked choke, crowning the undefeated fighter- the new  Bellator lightweight champ.

Fortunately for the fans, we have a fight to remember.

Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 139
What were the chances that two fight of the year nominations would happen in the same night?

Immediately following the broadcast of Bellator 58, fans were treated to another event; UFC 139.  While there was no

title on the line for this show, the main event between ‘Shogun’ and Henderson had the makings of an old school Pride Fighting Championship brawl; minus the soccer kicks to the head.

Both Henderson and Rua exhausted themselves in a five-round slug fest that left both fighters wilted.  Almost unable to stand for the judges’ decision, Henderson was favored unanimously to take the tough-fought win.

Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick at UFC 129
Nothing could stop these fighters, not even a hematoma.

With the UFC making their inaugural appearance with a record crowd in Toronto, Canada, Hominick and Aldo helped to make it a night to remember.  Aldo started out the fight with a dominant display of striking, but appeared to run his tank empty and started to slow.

Even with the large hematoma on Hominick’s head, he persevered to take the champ to the end of the fifth round.  Ultimately, Aldo defeated Hominick via unanimous judges’ decision, but they were both honored with a fight of the night bonus.


Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley
There was no more time to talk smack once the bell rang.

Both Diaz and Daley came in to this fight with something to prove: Who could talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk.

With Daley landing the early power punches that appeared to have Diaz on wobbly legs, the impeccable recovery skills of the Cesar Gracie trained fighter extended the bout.

The beating continued when a combination of punches had Diaz laying face down, which appeared to be the end of the night.

However, Diaz miraculously recovered and served Daley a technical knockout with three seconds left in the first round.

Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle at UFC on Versus 5
How could we turn the lights out on Lytle?

Lytle has been one of the most exciting UFC fighters to enter the octagon.  Always looking to put on a great performance for the fans first, this has led Lytle to being a successful professional fighter.

The majority of this bout with Hardy was a stand up war, mimicking a game of rockem sockem robots.  When Hardy could not take any more of the onslaught, he dropped for a rare takedown in the third round, which landed him in the tight guillotine of Lytle.  The end result was a submission victory for Lytle.

Lytle may have turned the lights off of his career after this bout, but is now following the light with the new 2012 Softail Blackline from Harley Davidson for his performance.

In Their Own Words: The Week’s Noteworthy MMA Quotes

Shaquille O'Neal on Inside MMA on HDNet

“After I started training in MMA I won three championships in a row.”
Shaquille O’Neal admitted to Inside MMA on HDNet that the workout in MMA put him in the physical condition he needed to be in to win NBA championships.

“We play Rock Band and make bets and do embarrassing things to each other.  If they would’ve lost the bet they would’ve been outside in the yard buck naked washing our goat.  We have a goat named Nick the Goat that we named after Nick ‘The Goat’ (Thompson), the fighter.  They would have been out there washing the goat.

- Dennis Hallman spoke to MMA DieHards about why he wore the infamous bikini at UFC 133.

“I can’t even tell you how embarrassed I am that he wore those shorts.”
- UFC President Dana White told MMA DieHards about his disgust towards Hallman’s attire at UFC 133.

“I know that Georges is training with Freddie Roach, but I doubt he’s sparring Pacquiao. Nick will be sparring frequently with (Andre) Ward and I think it will help him tremendously”
- Cesar Gracie commented on about Nick Diaz’s preparations for Georges St-Pierre.

“The Culture Shock School Tour is a thing we do every school year.  We go in and teach the kids about hip-hop culture.  We have this theatrical thing where we go inside the gym (and) we have the entire school, including the teachers and administrative (staff), and we teach them where the hip-hop culture began.”
- Houston Alexander explained to MMA DieHards how he promotes his passion for hip hop.

“I’m not stupid – without the WWE, the WWE made me a household name and increased my value tenfold before I even pursued the UFC. Could I be where I am today without the WWE? Probably not. Could I be drawing the same numbers that I’m drawing? Probably not. I brought a lot of fans over, a lot of crossover fans that I brought, just from the general public and WWE fans, I believe.”
- Brock Lesnar admitted to The Wrestling Press that the WWE made him a star.

“I believe the best light heavyweight of all time is the Rashad Evans that stepped into the ring on Saturday night (at UFC 133).  A lot of people are really missing it, they’re like ‘Well, he beat Tito and Tito wasn’t quite ready’ and I’m going ‘wait a minute, Tito’s always ready.’ Secondly, let’s understand Tito hit Rashad so hard two different times. Once with a cross and once with a hook that would have sent most people down and Rashad walked right through it. Let’s understand Rashad was caught in a choke and found his way out. Let’s understand Rashad went on an absolute sprint where I thought ‘wow, this is great’ because I’m cheering for Tito and he’s punching himself out. Not only did he not punch himself out, he did about two or three more of those sprints in the fight and then he finally did get the finish. The Rashad Evans that was in the ring that night, people really need to look at that performance. That was flat-out scary. Rashad moves his record to 18-1, that’s the best record in our industry, a former champion, he could walk away right now and he will go down in the hall of fame.”
- Chael Sonnen talked to Bruce Buffer about Rashad Evans.

“Ken Shamrock is going around to all of these different promoters doing his typical scumbag move, getting money up front and telling them ‘I’m a (UFC) hall of famer and I don’t know if you guys will continue to exist, so give me a 10-grand signing bonus.’  He takes their money, he goes and blades himself in the back and whatever make believe things that guy does.

“Won’t show up — guaranteed he won’t show up — keeps their 10 grand and moves on to the next unassuming promoter.  He’s not going to fight James Toney any more than you are.  He never was.  That fight won’t happen.  Mark my words.”
- Sonnen told Bruce Buffer how he feels about Ken Shamrock.

“I have guys in my weight class, potential opponents and guys I have fought who have a lot of respect for me.”
- Jim Miller commented on respect from his peers to MMA DieHards.

“When I turned 42 sh*t just started falling apart.  My shoulders are killing me, my back hurts, I get migraine headaches.  I hurt everywhere, it’s crazy.”
- White talked to MMA DieHards about age catching up to him.

“I get soccer moms and older women who are working at the grocery store, and they’re like, ‘I saw you on TV the other day.’ (It’s) because they’re just flipping through the channels on free television, and they happen to come by it, and they watch MMA for a minute, and it happened to be me, and they become huge fans. I get a lot more casual fans, a lot more of the non-demographic males 18-to-34-year-olds, who are fans of mine because I was on free TV, and they were able to watch.  So I actually like it a lot.”
- Ben Henderson admitted to MMAJunkie that he appreciates the attention he receives from fighting on television.

“It’s quite (surreal).  Prior to the fight, Alistair was cut.  He is, in my opinion, one of the best — if not the best — heavyweight fighter in the world.  And if they cut him, it gives you something to think about because we know (what) Dana (White) thinks about women’s fighting.  You take it with you into the fight.”
- Marloes Coenen talked to MMA DieHards about being released from her Strikeforce contract.

“We just want to be able to produce great fighters and create great fights for the fans. We have no intention for co-promotion deals and are even willing to make an exclusive deal for Alistair Overeem to fight in the UFC, if the terms are right.”
- Bas Boon spoke to about Zuffa releasing many Golden Glory fighters.

“I’m not trying to fight with Bas Boon. I don’t dislike Bas Boon or any of the Golden Glory guys. There’s never been some kind of situation where there was some kind of fight between us and Golden Glory. I have no resentment whatsoever towards Golden Glory. I’ve seen Bas Boon a million times. He’s a nice guy. We just had different business opinions on how things should be done. He knows and I know and everybody over there (Golden Glory) knows … even the fighters. I don’t give a s— what they tweet, what they take pictures of or what they say. They f—— know exactly how it worked and we would not do it that way. Now if Bas Boon is saying that this is the way that we can do it, then we can absolutely positively make a deal and we can get this thing rolling again.”
- White told MMA Mania that he is still willing to deal with Golden Glory.

“I left M-1 and it was amicable, but there was a huge amount of money still owed to me for the M-1 Series production. I was told I would be taken care of, and I never was. A portion of the money owed was supposed to be for the M-1 commentators, Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock. They were never paid by M-1, so I paid them out of my own pocket.

“I’m selling these tapes as a way to recoup the substantial amount of money that is owned to me. M-1 didn’t pay the invoices and the past year and a half they’ve been giving me BS excuses.  I know financially things aren’t well for them, but this is a complete reflection of M-1.  This is not aimed to hurt Fedor Emelianenko in anyway.  He’s been completely mismanaged.  I hate to say that Dana White is right, but he’s 100 percent right with most of the comments he’s made towards M-1.  They unfortunately ruined Fedor’s career.  Can it be salvaged?  Sure.  But M-1 as a management company is ridiculous.  You got to remember everyone at M-1 left and they put Evgeni Kogan, a translator, virtually in charge of the company. Director of Operations?  What is that?  When we were there, we actually had revenue coming in and was producing a product. Now they have nothing coming in and it’s in complete disarray.  You can’t put a translator in charge of running a company.”
- Jerry Millen explained to Middle Easy why he is selling the master library of M-1 Global’s tapes.

“This guy’s never been tested, never been him.  I ain’t worried about his height, his reach.  I ain’t worried about none of that.  The guy can’t bust a grape.  Ain’t worried about his crazy, like spinning elbow moves, everything, you know what I’m sayin.  We done broke this guy down.  It’s gonna be a good fight, no matter what.  I’m comin’ 100 percent.”
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson made a video to address Jon Jones and his fans.

“I’ll fight anyone.   A lot of people don’t want to fight Jon Fitch, but I’ll gladly fight him, anybody.

“I’d really like to rematch Carlos Condit though. (I’d take that fight) 100 percent.”
- Rory MacDonald spoke to ESPN UK about future opponents.

“I’ve been fighting since ’98, fighting forever; a lot of it is just that I’m not doing my responsibilities like I need to at home.  I feel like I’m not being the type of dad I want to.  I got four kids and lots of times I feel just an immense sense of guilt for not being there in times when I should.”
- Chris Lytle explained to his reasons for retiring.

“It’s a difficult place to be in, but as every fighter in the UFC, we love to be in the UFC.  I would want to be in the UFC for a long time and go out on my own terms.  I just have to go in there and give it all that I’ve got.  I’m confident that this fight is going to be a turning point, and the move to Las Vegas was a turning point as well.  I’m already reaping the benefits of that.”
- Dan Hardy told MMA DieHards that he made adjustments to remain in the UFC, which he will, despite losing to Lytle.

“I don’t suck!”
- Cole Miller yelled at Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg after his victory at UFC on Versus 5.

“Those at home playing the UFC drinking game, take a shot.”
- Rogan alerted followers about one of Goldberg’s bathroom breaks at UFC on Versus 5.

“I think I had the quickest rise and the quickest fall the UFC has ever seen.”
- Hardy commented on his roller-coaster UFC career at the post-fight press conference following UFC on Versus 5.

“I just want to tell you guys that I honestly love being a fighter, love being part of the UFC, love it more than anything in my life except my family.  It is time to dedicate more time to them.  It pains me to do it, but I am making the right choice.

“I’ve known this was going to be my last fight for a while.  There was no way I was going to go out losing.  You don’t want to hang on too long.”
- Chris Lytle addressed the fans after his victory at UFC on Versus 5.

UFC on Versus 5: Lytle ends career with late sub, Henderson outguns Miller

Chris Lytle went out on top (Tracy Lee/See full album at

Chris Lytle got a brawl, a submission, a double bonus and a Harley.  Not a bad way to end his career.

Lytle scored a submission of Dan Hardy in the final minute of the final round of the final bout of his career on Sunday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee to punctuate his departure from the Octagon at UFC on Versus 5.

In the co-main event, former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson battered Jim Miller away from contention for the UFC belt with a dominant decision vicitory.  Also on the main card, Donald Cerrone stopped Charles Oliveira in the first round, and Duane Ludwig scored a decision win against Amir Sadollah.

Lytle was the master of bonuses in his UFC career, and he ended it by winning a pair of $65,000 checks.  He won submission of the night for his guillotine of Hardy with 44 seconds left in the fight, and also captured fight of the night honors.

Hardy lost his fourth straight fight but it was not all bad news for the Englishman.  In addition to his $65,000 bonus for his part in the fight of the night, Hardy will remain with the promotion for at least another fight.  Lorenzo Fertitta, the UFC’s CEO, tweeted after the fight he will not cut Hardy.

Lytle and Hardy decided beforehand that they were going to stand up and slug it out, despite Lytle’s significantly better track record on the ground.  Lytle had the edge in the slugfest through 14 minutes, then Hardy shot in for a takedown to start the final sequence.  Lytle stuffed the shot, cinched the guillotine and rolled Hardy to his back.   Hardy had nowhere to go and tapped before falling unconscious.

“I just want to tell you guys that I honestly love being a fighter, love being part of the UFC, love it more than anything in my life except my family,” said Lytle, who is open about wanting to make a run at the Indiana State Legislature in 2012.  ”It is time to dedicate more time to them.  It pains me to do it, but I am making the right choice.

“I’ve known this was going to be my last fight for a while.  There was no way I was going to go out losing.  You don’t want to hang on too long.”

Lytle called it quits with six fight of the night bonuses, three more for submission of the night and another for knockout of the night.  The 10 bonuses are a UFC record, two more than Anderson Silva.  Lytle also received a 2012 Blackline motorcycle as part of a special promotion by Harley-Davidson.

He literally can ride off into the sunset.

There was no such bonus for Henderson, who took the fight to Miller and put himself into title contention while making the Showtime Kick a thing of the past.

Henderson lost his WEC lightweight belt to Milwaukee’s own Anthony Pettis in the final fight in that promotion’s history.  The title shot that was promised the winner of that fight never happened, and Pettis put himself out of contention when he lost to Clay Guida.  Now it appears Henderson has rocketed ahead with the win over Miller, whose only two previous career losses were to UFC champion Frankie Edgar and No. 1 contender Gray Maynard.

Henderson was able to keep Miller on his back and against the fence while delivering damaging punches and elbows throughout.  Although Miller was active with submission attempts, his failures left him in position to take punishment, and Henderson nary missed a chance.  By the middle of the third round, Miller was visibly squinting from the blood in his eyes.

The relentless Henderson was a version much better than even his championship days in the WEC.

“My mind might be scrambled a bit now, but I think the quote goes something like this: ‘Waves pound,  the ocean goes, I beat people up,’ ” Henderson said.  ”It’s my job, it’s what I do.”

Cerrone, from whom Henderson won the first version of his WEC title, overwhelmed Charles Oliveira in 3:01.  Cerrone blasted Oliveira with a knee then unleashed a violent ground attack and pummeled Oliveira with ground strikes until the TKO was issued.

Cerrone is 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the UFC since losing to Henderson in his WEC lightweight title shot.  Henderson had beaten him before in the match for the interim title.

Oliveira came in with plenty of hype, even after getting beaten by Miller to end the career-starting 14-0 run and then having a no-contest declared for his illegal knee against Nik Lentz.  Cerrone quickly put him to rest.

“I had no choice, I knew he was going to be right there in my face,” Cerrone said.  ”I wanted to go three rounds to go for fight of the night.  I saw his eyes roll back when I got him (with the knee) and I said I better get on this dude.”

Ludwig did not finish Sadollah, but he tried and settled for a unanimous decision victory.

The stand-up fight played to Ludwig’s advantage as Sadollah, a popular former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, could not maintain enough of an offensive attack to put him in trouble.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 15,” Ludwig said of boxing.  ”I have the composure, and I drill these things over and over.  I wasn’t nervous for this fight, but he had me scared.”

On the undercard, which streamed live on Facebook, Jared Hamman made a successful move to 185 pounds from light heavyweight and scored a TKO over C.B. Dollaway at 3:38 of the second round.

Hamman, known for his striking and iron chin, worked over the former collegiate wrestling star on the ground and battered him with ground strikes to earn the stoppage. He easily passed Dollaway’s guard numerous times en route to delivering the punishment and the finish.

“I got the greatest coaches in the world,” the humble Hamman said.  ”I’m not every good, but they believe in me, they put in on me.  I believe in them.  I have a jiu-jitsu coach, Henry Akins, Henry’s been working with me a lot.  Basic fundamentals.  You’re not going to see a flying arm bar.”

Joseph Benavidez proved once again to be one of the top bantamweights by winning every round against Eddie Wineland, the former WEC 135-pound champion. Wineland’s powerful stand-up game and height advantage never bothered Benavidez, whose only two career defeats have come to champion Dominick Cruz.

It leaves Benavidez in a precarious career position, as he appears to be a No. 1 contender who might have to keep winning fights for another year before receiving another crack at Cruz and the belt.  When the UFC comes through with its promise to create a 125-pound division then Benavidez likely will be asked to move down in weight.

The rest of the fast-paced undercard scored well in the excitement department.

Ed Herman locked in a heel hook at 4:15 of the first round to finish Kyle Noke, Ronny Markes won his UFc debut by taking all three rounds against Karlos Vemola, and Jim Hettes, also making his first appearance in the Octagon, won with a rear naked choke at 3:12 of the second round against Alex “Bruce LeeRoy” Caceras.  Earlier, Cole Miller got the tapout from T.J. O’Brien with a guillotine at 2:38 of Round 2, Jacob Volkmann scored a unanimous decision over Danny Castillo, and Edwin Figueroa pounded out Jason Reinhardt with ground strikes 50 seconds into the second round.

UFC on Versus 5 Results

UFC on Versus 5 Counterpunch

Lytle (R) is set for his last fight, against Hardy (L) (Tracy Lee/See for full album)

UFC on Versus 5 takes place Sunday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, and features a main event between Dan Hardy and Chris Lytle. selected a panel of writers and radio personalities to contribute their picks for each bout on the card, and each wrote in defense of the fighter they selected against the majority of the panel, hence “Counterpunch.”

Our lineup of participants is comprised of Joe Rizzo, Bob Badders, Hector Castro, Robert G. Reynolds, and me, Jason Kelly.

Jim Miller and Cole Miller were unanimously selected, but all others brought a “Counterpunch.”  Below, we list the match, the minotiry fighter being defended, and the author of the write-up.

Chris Lytle vs. Dan Hardy

Defending Lytle: Jason Kelly

As much as I want to see Hardy secure his employment in the UFC, I believe Lytle will prevail victorious.

Lytle and Hardy have agreed to stand and bang in this bout, but if “Lights Out” is falling behind in the match you can be sure he will use his ground skills.  I think Lytle will trade blows with Hardy, and win the exchanges.  Knowing that Lytle can take down Hardy at will, and possesses a better submission game than the Brit, makes me believe that Lytle has the advantage wherever the fight takes place.  Lytle can throw punches with no regard because he won’t have to be cautious of the takedown.  If Lytle gets in trouble on his feet, as Hardy is a decent striker, the TUF 4 competitor can initiate the takedown and display another awesome submission.

I think Lytle is a more polished version of Hardy, therefore I predict Lytle will take this bout via TKO in the second round and walk off into retirement.

Duane Ludwig vs. Amir Sadollah

Defending Ludwig: Jason Kelly

As much as Sadollah has improved in the striking department, there is a reason Ludwig carries the name “Bang.”

Ludwig is a phenomenal kickboxer coming out of Grudge in Colorado, with a skill set passed down from Bas Rutten.  Sadollah is a fighter who is getting more and more technical with his striking in each fight, but I do not believe he is yet on the level of Ludwig.  I see Sadollah trying to continue using the skills that have amassed him a few wins in a row.  I think Ludwig will recognize that early in the bout and exploit Sadollah’s striking.

Ludwig should take this fight with a vicious knockout in Round 3 of their scrap.

CB Dollaway vs. Jared Hamman
Defending Hamman: Joe Rizzo

Hamman is dropping to 185 pounds for the first time.  Because of his 6’3″ frame, expect Hamman to retain most of his knockout power, especially since he reported that the weight cut was a smooth transition.  Dollaway’s style leaves him open to taking punishment, like he did against Mark Munoz in his most recent fight.  Hamman does not have the ground game of Munoz, but packs plenty of power in his stand-up.  Most important, he also has the chin to take a few blasts in order to get in his licks.

Hamman’s last two contests have ended with fight of the night honors, but he’ll be in line for knockout of the night after this one.

Joseph Benavidez vs. Eddie Wineland
Defending Wineland: Joe Rizzo

The benchmark most pundits are using for Wineland in this fight is his performance against Benavidez’s stablemate, Urijah Faber.  But a more useful comparison could be UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who is the only man to defeat Benavidez (and did it twice).  Wineland wants to keep this fight standing and can try and mimic Cruz’s blisteringly fast style.  More likely, he’ll try and get inside to land heavy shots, then get away and avoid the takedown.

Wineland, a former bantamweight champ in the WEC, is one of the rare 135-pounders with legitimate knockout power.  Benavidez has never been stopped, but Wineland has as good a chance as anyone in the division to change that.

Jason Reinhardt vs. Edwin Figueroa

Defending Reinhardt: Robert G. Reynolds

With a record of 20-2, Reinhardt is not a fighter to be taken lightly.  With Reinhardt’s only two appearances within the UFC ending with submission losses, he is looking to put an end to that streak and show that he can win with the top competition under the UFC umbrella.

The main disadvantage for Figueroa (7-1) is that this will only be his second fight in the UFC.  His introduction to the UFC was a loss, and there is a lot that could be playing mentally with the young fighter.

At the age of 41, Reinhardt may seem to be near the end of his career, but that would be his career in the insurance business.  After Sunday, Reinhardt will be starting his new career as a UFC fighter, taking out Figueroa via rear naked choke late in the first round.

Charles Oliveira vs. Donald Cerrone

Defending Oliveira: Robert G. Reynolds

Oliveira has had a shaky introduction into the UFC, winning his first two fights in dominating fashion, then failing to win in the next two with a submission loss and a no contest due to an illegal knee.

Oliveira was brought into the UFC with a 12-0 record and hyped to be the next gifted fighter to come out of Brazil.  Some of this still holds true, Oliveira is still one of the most dominant and unorthodox fighters within the lightweight division.

Cerrone is no walk-through for Oliveira.  Cerrone has been typically used to taking down up-and-coming fighters within the WEC and has been making moves up the division within the UFC.  An excited Oliveira will be looking to make another jump up the lightweight division ladder.

Look for a TKO midway through the second round for Oliveira.

Alex “Bruce LeeRoy” Caceres vs. Jim Hettes
Defending Caceres: Robert G. Reynolds

Come on, does it really matter if he wins?  Once thing we can guarantee is that the fight fans will be winning for this match because you can count on Caceres, a.k.a. Bruce LeeRoy, to put on a fantastic fight.

With a record of 5-3, Bruce LeeRoy first made a name for himself as a colorful character on season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter.  What separates Caceres from most other characters in the house was his ability to back up his words.

Fighting the undefeated Jim Hettes is going to be a major challenge for the young Caceres.  Hettes bring an impressive 8-0 record into his inaugural visit to the Octagon with only two of his fights making it to the second round.  With all of Hettes’ eight wins coming via submission, the crafty Caceres will be doing everything in his power to keep this fight on its feet.

Hettes is going to get caught with a flying knee late in the first round going for a takedown attempt, giving Bruce LeeRoy the win via TKO.

Ed Herman vs. Kyle Noke
Defending Herman: Bob Badders

Noke’s five-fight win streak will come to an end on Sunday night at the hands of Herman.

Yes, Noke is the favorite here (I wouldn’t be writing this if that wasn’t the case), but Herman has a bit of a new lease on his UFC life.  After suffering back-to-back losses to Damian Maia and Alan Belcher, Herman responded with a crucial win over David Loiseau at UFC 97. However, in his next fight he suffered a devastating knee injury that forced a stoppage and loss to Aaron Simpson just 17 seconds into the second round. It would be nearly two years until Herman would get back in the Octagon, and he made his return an emphatic one by stopping Tim Credeur on punches in under a minute at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale.

Herman has the skills to beat the wrestling-boxing strengths of Noke.  A wrestler himself and Team Quest team member, Herman has earned both submission and knockout of the night bonuses, and has also proved he can take a fight the distance and come out on top.  Noke is a dangerous grappler who has won four of his last fights by stoppage, including three rear-naked choke submissions, so Herman has to keep him off his back.  But I like ‘Short Fuse’ to do that, riding the momentum from a triumphant return to the Octagon back in June and picking up his 22nd career win.

Jacob Volkmann vs. Danny Castillo
Defending Volkmann: Bob Badders

Right now, Volkmann is best known for calling out President Barack Obama after a win over Antonio McKee at UFC 125. But if that is all Danny Castillo sees in his opponent Sunday, there’s going to be some problems.

Volkmann’s name made it around the talk show circuit after said he would like to fight the President – and he even got visit from the Secret Service – but let’s forget about all that for a second, because none of that matters inside the Octagon. Volkmann is a 12-2 fighter currently enjoying a three-fight winning streak and coming off the aforementioned win over former division champ McKee. Volkmann hasn’t finished any of his fights in the UFC so far, and I think it will be the same Sunday night.

Castillo, hailing from Team Alpha Male, is a WEC veteran with stopping power and above-average grappling, but I think this is going to come down to Volkmann’s wrestling ability. Both were collegiate wrestlers, but Volkmann gets the major edge as a three-time NCAA Division I All-American and Big Ten Conference Champion for the University of Minnesota. Castillo was an NAIA All-American in 2004 for Menlo College, but the grappling edge clearly goes to Volkmann. I see him taking down Castillo and grinding out a unanimous decision victory for his fourth straight win. The only question is, who will he call out this time?

Ronny Markes vs. Karlos Vemola
Defending Markes: Hector Castro

I’m not surprised to see Vemola be the favorite pick in this matchup. Vemola already has had some success in the UFC with a victory over Seth Petruzelli at UFC 122.  But Vemola’s resume is rather weak in my opinion.  He had early success against pack of UK fighters and has had mixed results in the UFC after losing to the developing Jon Madsen and scoring a TKO over Bellator-bound Seth Petruzelli.

This is a classic matchmaking by the UFC where they test a current 1-1 fighter against a top up & coming prospect. Markes looks to have a very similar skill set to fellow Brazilian and UFC welterweight Thiago Alves.  Markes (11-1) has submitted four opponents and TKO’d five others.  Being a part of the world famous Kimura/Nova Uniao camp, Markes has already beaten a big name in his last fight in former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho.

This fight looks more like a great platform to launch Markes instead of a favorable matchup for Vemola. I expect to see Vemola to start the fight standing but after a couple of solid punches from the explosive Markes, Vemola will attempt to take the fight to the ground  where the BJJ standout will catch Vemola in a submission.

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