Jon Jones (L) squares off with Lyoto Machida (R) at UFC 140 weigh-ins. Photo courtesy of Combatlifestyle
MMA DieHards is back with a session of Counterpunch for UFC 140.
UFC 140 offers a light heavyweight championship bout between Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida. Canadian Mark Hominick will battle Chan Sung Jung, and former champions meet when Frank Mir meets Antonio Nogueira.
MMADieHards.com put together a team of our finest writers to bring you Counterpunch for the event. The group independently makes its selections for each fight. Minority picks will be defended by one of the panelists making that selection.
Joining us this week will be newcomer Shawn Baran, Robert G. Reynolds, Jason Kelly, and host of MMA Beatdown on the MMA DieHards Radio Network, Mike Fester. Joe Rizzo also participated in the panel but did not have an assignment from his selections.
Hominick and Rich Attonito are not be covered below, as they were all unanimously selected.
Below we list the match, the fighter being defended and the author of the defense.
Lyoto Machida vs. Jon Jones
Defending Machida: Jason Kelly
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the return of the Machida era.
Machida is a puzzle that is hard for a veteran to solve, let alone a young Jones. Machida’s elusiveness, coupled with his ability to capitalize on striking from peculiar angles will be the end of Jones’ title reign. Another thing that comes into play is Jones’ inexperience of clashing shins. As good as Jones’ offence is, nobody has tested his durability the way “The Dragon” will. Machida is going to put hands on “Bones” and put the champ under a pressure he has not seen from previous opponents.
With the Under Siege action star in his corner, Machida will TKO Jones late in the fourth round.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir
Defending Nogueira: Shawn Baran
My heart tells me to pick Mir because I have always been a Mir fan, but my head tells me to pick Nogueira.
Mir looked flawless against “Minotauro” the last time they met and Mir stopped Nogueira for the first time in his career.
Turns out Nogueira was fighting at maybe 40%. Mir looked sharp against Nelson, but “Big Nog” looked sharper against Brendan Schaub.
Mir has not looked as good lately and it appears that Nogueira is healthy and ready to avenge that loss to Mir. I just think it is going to be Nogueira’s night.
Mir should have the edge striking, but Nog’s striking has looked pretty good of late so they may even be even there.
Against anyone else, I would give the edge on the ground to Mir by a landslide, but he IS fighting Nogueira
And if there is anyone better on the ground than Mir, it would be Nogueira.
Mir has all the talent in the world to make this fight his, but I have a feeling Nogueira will land some heavy shots early on and put Mir away with a TKO.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Tito Ortiz
Defending Nogueira: Robert Reynolds
Even though Rogerio Nogueira has lost his last two bout with the UFC, he is one right hand away from getting back on track.
While “Little Nog” is not as popular as his brother “Big Nog”, he is still a force in the cage to worry about with a gold medal in boxing from the South American Games and a black belt in BJJ.
Facing Tito Ortiz at UFC 140, Nogueira won’t have much to worry about when it comes to what Ortiz has to offer. As of late, it appears that Ortiz has lost his ability to take down opponents facing him across the octagon. Taking down Nogueira will be his only chance.
“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” is barely holding on to a job with the UFC winning one fight since 2006. This is going to be another failed attempt at keeping Ortiz around and a loss may force him into retirement.
Expect a second round TKO from Nogueira.
Claude Patrick vs. Brian Ebersole
Defending Patrick: Robert Reynolds
I’ll admit right out of the gate, I initially picked Claude Patrick because he is a local favorite and I have to support our Canadian fighter
That being said, Patrick has been cleaning up competition winning his last 13 fights, finishing 11 of his opponents. Making his third appearance on a Canadian card, Patrick has become a regular spectacle for native fans.
His opponent, Brian Ebersole has a wealth of experience compiling a 48-14 record while dominating his last nine opponents. Ebersole’s fighting style is unorthodox to say the least and can usually throw fighters off; Patrick however, won’t fall for those foolish antics.
It is a guarantee that this fight is going to reach the ground early in the first round, as Ebersole will not be able to handle the striking of the Patrick. Once it hits the ground, expect Ebersole to be sloppy and leave his neck hanging out for the picking.
Patrick is going to win his 14th fight in a row via a choke of some sort mid-way through the first round.
Igor Pokrajac vs. Krystof Soszynski
Defending Pokrajac: Joe Rizzo
Pokrajac is 2-1 since dropping his first two UFC fights, but what will keep him around long enough to win this one is his submission defense. In 31 fights, he has tapped only once, and that was a leg submission. Soszynski’s best weapon is his kimura, and Pokrajac is not going to allow the Polish-Canadian to unleash it upon him.
While Todd Brown and James Irvin have been long for the UFC since Pokrajac finished them, the Croatian has had a bit of trouble with higher-level opponents. However, he has improved. He went the distance with Vladimir Matyushenko, suffered a very late finish against James Te-Huna and dropped a decision to Stephan Bonnar. This match is where Pokrajac finds a way to take it all the way and win.
Jared Hamman vs. Constantinos Philippou
Defending Hamman: Jason Kelly
Hamman is underdog for a reason I don’t understand.
My foolish colleagues must be newbies to the sport. Hamman made the drop to middleweight and has been on a tear since. His toughness and willingness to take risks rewards Hamman with fight of the night honors and victories time and time again. Philippou is a grinder, but Hamman possesses more techniques that will make a bad night for his opponent. Hamman’s wrestling will control where the fight takes place and his viciousness will be the key to victory.
Hamman takes this bout with the judges’ score 30-27 across the board.
Dennis Hallman vs. John Makdessi
Defending Hallman: Joe Rizzo
Sure it was a few moons ago, but Dennis Hallman is no stranger to the lightweight division. On Sept. 28, 2001, Hallman lost a decision to Jens Pulver with the lightweight belt on the line at UFC 33. At UFC 29, he took 20 seconds to arm bar Matt Hughes in a 155-pound fight. In his many fights since then, Hallman has even gone to 195 and been successful. Take a closer look at his 2-2 mark since returning to the UFC as a welterweight. Hallman had wins over Ben Saunders and Karo Parysian. In his defeats, he got knocked out by John Howard with five seconds left in a fight he was winning, and against Brian Ebersole while wearing his infamous bikini, Hallman was a one-armed fighter, battling an elbow infection that was bad enough to require surgery days later. He had position on Ebersole in the early going and very well could have finished off a submission with a relatively healthy elbow joint.
Now Hallman is back to lightweight, and he’ll have to avoid Makdessi’s sharp stand-up game. Once Hallman takes this one to the mat, it’s going to end quickly with him submitting the Canadian.
Walel Watson vs. Yves Jabouin
Defending Watson: Mike Fester
I had thought out a very professional and logical explanation as to why I thought Yves Jabouin could win this fight but at the end of the day I just can’t bring myself to pick a guy named Yves Jabouin. It’s weird. Let’s be honest, It’s a little creepy. If you say it a few times in a row It sounds like some sort of Creole’ black magic chant…
Anyway, all joking aside, If you happened to catch our show (MMABeatdown on Tuesday Nights at 8:30) this week, I had mentioned that I firmly believe a good part of how fights play out will ALWAYS boil down to what you’re fighting for. If you’re driven by something weather it be fame, money, a desire to be the best or just to cement your legacy, the way you approach fights will be differ. And when you’re dealing with athletes who for the most part, by and large have the same skills, the winner is usually going to be the guy that “wants it” more.
That being said, Walel Watson is hungry. His 1st round TKO over Joseph Sandoval proved that. Add to that hunger and aggression what appears to be a very solid ground game and I think it spells a very long (quick) night for Yves Jabouin. I see Watson taking this one by first or second round submission.
Nik Lentz vs. Mark Bocek
Defending Lentz: Joe Rizzo
While I am picking Lentz to win this fight, this one almost has “draw” or “no contest” written all over it. Usually it’s not his fault, but draws and no contests are an uncommon occurrence in MMA, and he has been in three fighters where there was no winner — all since his most recent loss, which was in 2007. Lentz drew with Kyle Jensen before going to the UFC, then once he got there deadlocked Thiago Tavares in his second outing, when Tavares had a point deduction for repeated low blows. His last fight — or was it — topped them both, as what appeared to be Charles Oliveira’s illegal knee knocked Lentz for a loop, leading to a rear naked choke submission. Oliveira originally was credited with a win, but later it was ruled no contest. Despite that ruling, it was deemed fight of the night at UFC Live on Versus 5 on June 26.
Aside from those three matches, Lentz has reeled off 12 wins in the last four years. Overall, he has nine submission wins, six by decision and six by TKO. He knows how to defend against a fighter like Bocek, who is one of the top grapplers in the lightweight division. Lentz has more ways to win this fight. It’s likely to go the distance, and he should get the nod over the Canadian, who is game and exciting but usually comes up short against the upper echelon of the UFC. Lentz is ready to make that jump.
Mitch Clarke vs. Josh Cholish
Defending Clarke: Jason kelly
Clarke is a newcomer, but he is Canadian, how could I pick against my countryman?
Clarke is undefeated, training out of Hayabusa in Alberta, and he knows how to win. Clarke is not the most gifted athlete, but his understanding of mixed martial arts makes him dangerous for any foe. His approach to the bout will consist of dirty boxing and ground and pound. Cholish brings a strong arsenal, but Clarke is better in all areas of the game.
Clarke via Rizzo radio, AKA rear naked choke, in Round 1.