Posts Tagged ‘UFC’
This week our panel consists of actor Brando Eaton from the shows Dexter and The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Miami Heat small forward Mike Miller, Atreyu lead singer Alex Varkatzas, and the king of shredders, Herman Li of DragonForce:
|Gustafsson||Gustafsson||Gustafsson||Te Huna||Te Huna|
“When you and Mike Schiavello did the commentating on the Strikeforce undercard, that was the best part of the f**king show.” – Joe Rogan commends Bas Rutten on a job well done during Rogan’s UStream broadcast.
“I know I can beat B.J. (Penn). I mean I can beat anybody. I’ll fight GSP, I’ll fight Anderson Silva. I can beat anybody. Anywhere I want, I have that much confidence in myself.” – Jon Fitch, at the UFC 127 press conference in Australia.
“We won’t know unless we get in the same organization. Who’s to say that I’m No. 1 or they’re No. 1 if we haven’t fought yet? We’ll never know until we all fight each other. But they’re definitely the top guys. No joke about that.” – Cain Velasquez speaks on the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix participants, and the comparison of UFC and Strikeforce heavyweight fighters.
“My new style is actually cerebral and smart. I don’t get hurt anymore, but (I) lost fans. When I get the belt back, they will (love me) again.” – Miguel Torres expresses the confidence he found with his revamped style of fighting.
“(I’m) very nervous for this fight (against Jake Shields). I’m going to have goose bumps more than ever before, because I have (a) flash(back) with what happened with (Matt) Serra last time. I don’t want it to happen again. I’m fighting the most dangerous guy I’ve fought so it’s going to be a very tough fight.” – UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre talks about the nervousness he feels going into his title defense against Jake Shields.
“I didn’t (want to) fight with (Brian Stann) right now. I don’t know what day I’m going to be available to fight. I (didn’t) want to hold him. He has his life. Another point, this guy is an American hero. Don’t worry guys, one day I’m going to fight with him.” – Wanderlei Silva informs the world why he respectfully neglected the challenge from UFC middleweight Brian Stann.
“I was really surprised by these reports. First of all, I never gave any interviews after the fight. We were on our way out of the airport, when a boy approached me asking about Fedor’s health. I answered that Fedor feels alright, and (that he) will continue to compete in MMA. So he said that it seemed like Fedor didn’t feel so good. (And) I answered that maybe it only seems so, and maybe Fedor doesn’t feel so well. Then, by these two phrases this lad, who even didn’t say who he was, came to a conclusion that I was talking about some sort of hypnosis. It’s a total bulls**t.” – Fedor Emilianenko’s trainer, Vladimir Vonorov, denies the claims he reportedly made, publicized last week, about Fedor losing to Antonio Silva via “psychological technologies.”
“Twenty-two stitches and a bad concussion sucks but I will heal and be better soon.” – Tito Ortiz tweets about the injury that removed “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” from his UFC fight at Ultimate Fight Night 24.
“I’m looking to finish this fight. I’m looking to make an example of (Rivera). I want to make him pay for the criticisms he’s made of me and mocking me a little bit.” – Michael Bisping shares his aspirations of finishing Jorge Rivera at UFC 127 this weekend.
“That kick, a lot of people were saying it was luck, ‘Oh, he’ll never connect with that kick again.’ I did that against Dan Henderson, against Demian (Maia), too. Of course, after training with Steven Seagal it improved to the point in which I was able to execute it more effectively. After each of my training sessions I used to do 200 kicks in each leg. In total I must have done that kick around three to four thousand times.” – UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva informs the world that the kick he finished Vitor Belfort with was not luck.
It’s back to the great Down Under for UFC 127, a card lacking a title fight, but filled with bouts that hold title implications.
Jon Fitch and B.J Penn will square off with the winner getting in line for a welterweight title show, while lightweight George Sotiropoulos and welterweight Chris Lytle look to move one step closer to title contender status. Middleweights Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera will also seek to put their names into the middleweight title picture when they square off at the show.
MMA fans will get their fill of action on Saturday night, with ten of the night’s 12 fights owning a guaranteed broadcast slot on one of three platforms utilized by the UFC. The evening’s televised action begins with a free live stream on Facebook at 8 p.m. ET, featuring Jason Reinhardt against Tiequan Zhang and Tom Blackledge against Anthony Perosh. From there, it’s on to Ion Television at 9 p.m. ET for three more preliminary card fights. Finally, the action moves to pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET for the five-fight main card.
The MMA DieHards panel of writers – Bob Badders, Conner Cordova, Joe Rizzo, Pete Sumulong and Rob Tatum – gathered to make their picks for the entire card.
Five fighters earned a unanimous nod from our panel as favorites in their fights.
Our fine group of prognosticators does not believe lightweight Dennis Siver (17-7) has the necessary skill-set to derail contender George Sotiropoulos (14-2). Sotiropoulos, currently riding an eight-fight winning streak that includes seven victories inside the Octagon, has a lethal submission game and has displayed enough in his stand-up to be the clear favorite over the German striker. Not to mention, the jiu-jitsu ace will enjoy the advantage of fighting in his native Australia. Unless Siver can land one of his patented spinning back kicks, he might find himself tapping rather quickly.
A four-fight win streak has brought welterweight Chris Lytle (30-17-5) to the brink of title contention, and a late change of opponents has the panel confident that “Lights Out” can continue his surge. With Carlos Condit bowing out with an injury, Strikeforce and IFL veteran Brian Ebersole (46-14-1) steps in to face Lytle. Ebersole might have an impressive record, but his lack of significant experience in the big leagues makes him an underdog here. Lytle is a handful to deal with regardless of who you are, but throw in Octagon jitters and your chances get even slimmer. Lytle can stand and bang, but he’s also great on the ground. That just happens to be a place where Ebersole has suffered nine of his career defeats.
The panel pegs Ross Pearson (11-4) as their pick against Spencer Fisher (24-6) in lightweight action. Pearson, the lightweight winner of TUF 9, suffered a setback in his most recent outing against Cole Miller. Pearson might have been the victim of a submission in that affair, but he should enjoy a strength advantage in the clinch against Fisher and likely has the more disciplined striking approach. Fisher is a scrappy veteran and could cause Pearson fits, but in the end Pearson should be able to do enough to pick up a decision win.
The light heavyweight showdown between Alexander Gustafsson (10-1) and James Te Huna (12-4) could provide some fireworks, as both men have a preference of knocking opponents out. Unfortunately for the Australian crowd, our panel feels that the Australian native, Te Huna, will be on the wrong side of this bout’s outcome. Te Huna came out victorious in his lone UFC appearance, which took place on another of UFC’s trips Down Under. Gustafsson, who will enjoy a four-inch height advantage, holds the more impressive record and has faced more high-level opponents. Look for him to emerge with the W here.
Finally, the panel expects lightweight Maciej Jewtuszko (8-0) to have a successful Octagon debut when he locks horns with Curt Warburton (6-2). The undefeated Polish fighter stunned Anthony Njokuani under the WEC banner and now faces a fighter in Warburton whose only UFC outing ended in a decision loss to Spencer Fisher. Jewtuszko has an even amount of wins by submission as by knockout or TKO, so wherever this fight goes, Warburton will have his hands full.
The panel was divided on the other seven contests, which brings us to the “Counterpunch,” where one of the writers in the minority defends his reason for going against the popular opinion.
HW: Mark Hunt (5-7) vs. Chris Tuchscherer (21-3)
Picking Hunt: 3 (Cordova, Rizzo, Tatum)
Picking Tuchscherer: 2 (Badders, Sumulong)
Badders: My past Counterpunch arguments have all involved two fighters for which I took a while deciding who to pick. This is not one of those fights.
It didn’t take me long to pick Chris Tuchscherer to defeat Mark Hunt in their heavyweight battle at UFC 127. First you look at the records: Tuchscherer is 18-3 with one no contest while Hunt is 5-7. Even without knowing anything else about the fighters, that has to be a red flag.
Hunt is a world-class kickboxer, but this is mixed martial arts. He has struggled to make the transition, and his record reflects that. If Hunt starts landing strikes his opponents are going to be in trouble, but that’s no secret. Fighters look to take him to the ground where they have the clear advantage, and he has lost by submission in six of his seven defeats. Hunt has wins over Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Filipovic in Pride, but those came way back in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
Tuchscherer has a high-level wrestling background as a two-time NCAA Division II All-American and currently trains with team DeathClutch and UFC heavyweight Brock Lesnar, who is an even more accomplished wrestler. Tuchscherer is 1-2 in the UFC and has lost by first-round TKO in both defeats, so that has me a bit worried, but in the end it will be Tuchscherer’s ground expertise that will be the difference against the one-dimensional Hunt.
LHW: Tom Blackledge (10-6) vs. Anthony Perosh (10-6)
Picking Blackledge: 3 (Badders, Cordova, Sumulong)
Picking Perosh: 2 (Rizzo, Tatum)
Rizzo: Perosh is being dismissed out of hand because of his 0-3 record in the UFC. Did you know that all three of those defeats have come with Perosh fighting at heavyweight? The match against England’s Tom Blackledge is at light heavyweight, and Perosh has been a much more effective fighter at 205 pounds.
Blackledge is a significant favorite in this fight, perhaps mainly because he earned a name as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s striking coach.
This fight is fairly evenly matched, down to the combatants’ identical 10-6 records. Perosh gets the edge for fighting in his native Australia, with the other factors equal.
FW: Tiequan Zhang (12-1) vs. Jason Reinhardt (20-1)
Picking Zhang: 4 (Badders, Cordova, Sumulong, Tatum)
Picking Reinhardt: 1 (Rizzo)
Rizzo: Reinhardt has most likely been competing in MMA since before many of you diehards began following the sport. Now a 41-year-old fighter, he might appear at first glance to be a sacrificial lamb for “Mongolian Wolf” Zhang Tie Quan.
Reinhardt has not competed since 2008, but he is 20-1, with a finish each time, and he has been to the second round only twice. More than age and ring rust, the oddsmakers and pundits are still holding against him Reinhardt’s UFC 78 rear-naked-choke loss to Joe Lauzon.
Reinhardt was supposed to take on the “Mongolian Wolf” last year at WEC 51, but was a late scratch due to his failure of a pre-fight eye exam. Rather than pack it in, Reinhardt had corrective eye surgery and managed to secure his way into the UFC to get this fight, which is at his more natural weight of 145 pounds. Reinhardt will make the most of the opportunity.
MW: Riki Fukuda (17-4) vs. Nick Ring (10-0)
Picking Fukuda: 3 (Badders, Cordova, Tatum)
Picking Ring: 2 (Rizzo, Sumulong)
Sumulong: There’s nothing more bizarre than having your opponent say to you, “oh no he didn’t!” in an effeminate voice once you finish weighing in for a fight. Yet that was the scene when Court McGee and Nick Ring stepped off the scales prior to their fight on the 11th season of “The Ultimate Fighter”. Ring came away the victor (in controversial fashion), but was forced off the show due to a serious knee injury.
Ring showed solid striking and strong leg kicks in the win over McGee and, following surgery, has spent time training at the Tristar Gym with GSP and Rory MacDonald. Ring’s Tristar teammate Miguel Torres has shown great improvement under the tutelage of Firas Zahabi, and with Ring’s athletic ability I have no doubt that his game has grown as well.
Ring’s opponent, Riki Fukuda, has feasted on mediocre competition in Japan. Fukuda’s biggest win to date is over Murilo Rua, the younger and less-talented brother of UFC light heavyweight champion “Shogun” Rua. If UFC 126 taught us anything, it’s that
the transition for Japanese fighters in the UFC has been a rough one. Both “Kid” Yamamoto and Michihiro Omigawa struggled with the size and strength of the fighters in the UFC, and I believe Fukuda will have the same problem.
Ring is 10-0, so he’s a proven winner, and his 70% finish rate is very impressive. I believe the Tristar training will be the difference and Nick Ring will defeat Riki Fukuda by unanimous decision.
MW: Kyle Noke (18-4-1) vs. Chris Camozzi (14-3)
Picking Noke: 4 (Badders, Cordova, Rizzo, Sumulong)
Picking Camozzi: 1 (Tatum)
Tatum: As someone who was familiar with both middleweights before their time on Season 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter”, this may be one of the most evenly matched fights on the UFC 127 card.
Both fighters have tremendous standup skills and ever-evolving ground games. I’d give Noke a slight edge on his ground skills, but based on witnessing both fighters in person on multiple occasions, I wouldn’t expect either fighter to be shooting for takedowns.
This narrows the fight down to a battle between Noke’s crisp boxing and Camozzi’s lethal Muay Thai.
Without blatantly injecting some hometown bias toward Camozzi, if this bout stays on the feet as I expect it to, I don’t believe Noke can finish off the Colorado-based fighter. Camozzi should return to U.S. soil with a clear-cut decision victory.
MW: Michael Bisping (20-3) vs. Jorge Rivera (19-7)
Picking Bisping: 3 (Badders, Rizzo, Sumulong)
Picking Rivera: 2 (Cordova, Tatum)
Cordova: I can’t look at this fight without thinking this will be a bangin’ stand up battle. By sheer technical merit on the feet, I would have to give the edge to Bisping. His stick-and-move striking style is just so clean. However, Rivera puts his hands together with nearly the same precision, the only difference is Jorge has more stopping power.
Bisping gets his finishes by picking his opponents apart and finishing them once they’re hurt. On the other hand, Rivera has that big right hand that can put people down.
I see Bisping winning the first half of the opening round, getting a little too relaxed and getting caught by Rivera late in the first. Rivera TKO in the first round. BAM!
WW: Jon Fitch (23-3) vs. B.J. Penn (16-7-1)
Picking Fitch: 3 (Badders, Cordova, Sumulong)
Picking Penn: 2 (Rizzo, Tatum)
Tatum: While this fight could easily be a repeat of the UFC 94 main event between Penn and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, I don’t think that Penn will allow that to happen.
Fitch enters the fight as the more accomplished wrestler, and his only loss since 2003 was to GSP in 2008. But the majority of his opponents were not the complete fighter that Penn is. And more importantly, Fitch has not finished an opponent since 2007.
Although Penn will enter the bout as the smaller fighter, Fitch’s inability to end fights will only play into the talented Hawaiian’s hand. Penn is far and away the better striker and submission fighter in this bout, and his takedown defense is unmatched. Unless Fitch can get the fight to the mat and smother Penn from inside one of the world’s most dangerous guards for a full fifteen minutes, I expect “The Prodigy” to claim stake to number one contender status in the welterweight division.