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UFC on Versus 3: Sanchez vs Kampann Predictions

Main Card

Diego Sanchez (22-4) vs Martin Kampmann (17-4)

Keys to victory for Sanchez: Diego Sanchez is at his best when he’s able to utilize his speed to move inside and land a flurry of punches and back out before taking any damage of his own. Even when he’s winning the stand-up battle, Sanchez is very good at scoring well-timed takedowns to keep his opponent guessing. Kampmann has a knack for grabbing a neck and securing a guillotine choke when his opponent goes in for a sloppy takedown attempt, so Sanchez must be sure his neck is protected when attempting his double-legs.

Keys to victory for Kampmann: In a recent interview with MMA Weekly, Kampmann mentioned he wants to go back to his roots and “get back to knocking people out”. I believe this is wrong strategy for him to take against Sanchez. At 170-pounds, Sanchez has typically struggled against the bigger fighters in the division, especially against the ones that are able to put him on his back. Kampann has the striking ability to win the stand-up battle, but Sanchez has only been stopped twice since 2006. One being a mercy doctor’s stoppage in the fifth round against BJ Penn, in which he took a severe beating. Kampann will have the size and strength advantage to take Sanchez down and keep him there.

Fight Breakdown: On the feet, it’s really anyone’s game. Sanchez keeps a high energy pace, throwing punches in combos. Kampmann uses the classic boxing approach, lead with the jab and follow it with a power shot. I tend to see this fight playing out against the cage in the clinch for a solid duration of the fight. If Kampmann can get a few takedowns, I see him roughing up Sanchez with punches and elbows from the top. In the later rounds, I think Sanchez will have enough, give up his back and Kampann will secure the rear naked choke.

Prediction: Martin Kampann def. Diego Sanchez by Submission – Rd. 3

CB Dollaway (11-2) vs Mark Munoz (9-2)

Keys to victory for Dollaway: Dollaway was a Division I All-American wrestler for Arizona State University, and using his elite wrestling skills will always be his clearest path to victory. At UFC 119, Dollaway showed great maturity as a fighter for realizing he didn’t have a choke early against Joe Doerksen and waited patiently for his opponent to make a mistake without exuding any energy. When the opportunity came, he rolled into a guillotine choke for one of the more spectacular submissions of the year.

Keys to victory for Munoz: Munoz also has an extensive wrestling pedigree out of Oklahoma State, but it hasn’t really translated well to MMA. His offensive takedown skills are incredibly sloppy for someone with his elite-level wrestling background. With that aside, he will have the tremendous advantage on the feet. Munoz has the power in his hands to drop anyone if he lands cleanly. CB Dollaway is incredibly active looking for submissions while on the mat, but in doing so, he tends to leave arms and necks available for the taking. Even though we haven’t seen much jiu-jitsu from Munoz, he is a purple belt under the Nogueira brothers, and may be able to expose that.

Fight Breakdown: The longer this fight stays on the feet, the greater the advantage leans towards Munoz. Even though his offensive wrestling isn’t that great, Munoz has shown the ability to defend them often and keep fights standing. I expect a pretty even fight with both fighters in bad positions several times throughout. I like Dollaway to get enough takedowns to eke out the decision.

Prediction: CB Dollaway def. Mark Munoz by Unanimous Decision

Alessio Sakara (15-7) vs Chris Weidman (4-0)

Keys to victory for Sakara: If you’ve been watching the UFC for a while, you know what Sakara’s likely plan of action will be. Even though he’s on his first three-fight win streak since 2006, Sakara has kept his job in the UFC all these years for his ‘knockout or get knocked out’ attitude he has in the cage. Sakara has recently added kicks to go with his explosive hands making him even more dangerous on the feet.

Keys to victory for Weidman: Weidman is a two-time All-American out of Hofstra, placing third in the NCAA tournament his senior year. With only one year of formal jiu-jitsu training at the Serra-Longo Fight Team, Weidman qualified for the 2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling Championships, losing to eventual silver medalist and world renown grappler Andre Galvao in an extremely close match.

Fight Breakdown: Weidman is considered to be one of the top prospects in all of mixed martial arts, but I personally would have liked for him to have a few more fights in the smaller shows before signing with a big time promotion. Nevertheless, Sakara is a perfect fight for him in his UFC debut. As long as Weidman avoids the big shots on the feet, he should have little resistance getting the fight to ground in his wheelhouse. I wouldn’t be surprised if he locked up a submission, but at the very least, Weidman should cruise to an easy decision victory.

Prediction: Chris Weidman def. Alessio Sakara by Unanimous Decision

Brian Bowles (8-1) vs Damacio Page (15-5)

Keys to victory for Bowles: Brian Bowles returns to action for the first time in nearly a year due to a broken hand suffered in his fight with Dominick Cruz, then broke a foot while training for Wagnney Fabiano. Will ring rust be a problem? Bowles generally likes to push the pace against his opponents. He has serious power in his hands, so Page must be cautious of not getting into lengthy exchanges on the feet. Bowles has explosive takedowns that often lead to big slams, and an underrated grappling game to back it up.

Keys to victory for Page: Damacio Page’s greatest asset on the feet in this fight will be his leg kicks. He will need to use them early and often to keep some distance from Bowles. Page has power of his own and tends to throw punches wildly, which could spell disaster against Bowles who prefers to get inside and throw heavy hands. Page has solid takedowns as well, but must be careful of Bowles’ nasty guillotine choke when dropping down.

Fight Breakdown: This fight is my pick for “Fight of the Night” with these two having similar, exciting fighting styles. I generally pick against fighters that have been inactive as long as Bowles has, but Damacio Page tends to get sloppy and becomes highly susceptible to the guillotine choke. I expect the same outcome as the first time they fought back in 2008, it just may take a little longer.

Prediction: Brian Bowles def. Damacio Page by Guillotine Choke – Rd. 2

Danny Castillo (10-3) vs Joe Stevenson (31-12)

Keys to victory for Castillo: Danny Castillo will be looking to keep this fight standing as long as possible. Mac Danzig, who hadn’t had a TKO victory since 2005, blasted Joe Stevenson at UFC 124 last December. Castillo is a vicious striker with five out of his ten wins coming by way of stoppages due to to strikes. Even though he prefers to keep fights standing, Castillo has a solid wrestling game as well.

Keys to victory for Stevenson: Joe Stevenson looked like a reborn fighter in the second half of 2009, after he started training with Greg Jackson. He put on dominant back-to-back performances against Nate Diaz and Spencer Fisher using relentless takedowns and strong ground-and-pound from the top position. If Stevenson could repeat these gameplans against Castillo, he could cruise to a victory on Thursday night.

Fight Breakdown: I think Stevenson will struggle with a few takedowns early, but if he can keep the pressure on Castillo while avoiding the big shots, he’ll eventually get the fight to the floor. Once on the ground, Stevenson should be able to do what he pleases. I think Castillo will eventually tire out and Stevenson will find an arm or neck to take home with him.

Prediction: Joe Stevenson def. Danny Castillo by Rear Naked Choke – Rd. 2

Cyrille Diabate (16-7-1) vs Steve Cantwell (7-3)

Keys to victory for Diabate: Cyrille Diabate is a kick-boxer and Muay Thai fighter that has been fighting professionally since 1999. Even with the extended amount of time in the sport, Diabate has never caught on to defensive grappling skills needed to take his game to the next level. Despite his starch job of Luis Cane, he doesn’t have a ton of power in his hands. Diabate’s most violent attribute are his knees inside the clinch and will likely looking to get the fight in that position.

Keys to victory for Cantwell: Like Bowles, ring rust will be the biggest concern for Steve Cantwell on Thursday. This will be the first time he enters the cage since September of 2009 due an undisclosed illness that supposedly nearly ended his fighting career. Without the proper information on the illness, it’s hard to say how much it may have taken a toll on his body. If he comes in a 100% healthy, Cantwell showed improved boxing even in defeat against Luis Cane and Brian Stann, but will have a much larger advantage on the ground.

Fight Breakdown: Even though I think Cantwell has enough tools to beat Diabate, I believe the extended lay-off from the sport in the end will be his downfall. If Cantwell can’t get a takedown early, I think he’ll tire out and keep his hands too low until Diabate lands a big shot to drop him, and finish him with strikes on the ground.

Prediction: Cyrille Diabate def. Steve Cantwell by TKO – Rd. 2

Prelim Quick Picks

  • Shane Roller def. Thiago Tavares by Decision
  • Takeya Mizugaki def. Reuben Duran by Decision
  • Rob Kimmons def. Dongi Yang by Submission – Rd. 3
  • Rousimar Palhares def. Dave Branch by Submission – Rd. 1
  • Todd Brown def. Igor Pokrajac by Submission – Rd. 2


 
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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Predictions, UFC

 

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UFC 115 Predictions

Chuck Liddell vs Rich Franklin

Chuck Liddell, throughout his career has made a solid living on stalking his prey, cutting off angles, an throwing big power shots to dismantle his opponents in the cage. Unfortunately for him, he’s never expanded his skills beyond that. In the new world of MMA, game plans are just as important as a fighter’s abilities and Liddell has become one of the easiest guys to prepare against. Rich Franklin is a smart enough not to get in heated exchanges with the “Iceman” in risk of taking an early nap. I like Franklin to use his leg kicks to keep his distance from Liddell, while using his effective clinch game to score points when Chuck does get inside. I do expect Liddell to land a couple large overhand rights in the fight just to keep things interesting, but Rich will survive and earn himself the unanimous decision victory.  

On Saturday night, no matter what, one of the most beloved fighters in UFC/MMA history will be one step closer to retirement. Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin are both in a “must win” situation to keep any title contender relevance at all.  At UFC 115, whoever doesn’t get their hand raised at the end of the night will be stuck at a gatekeeper/gimmick match role for the rest of their career.

Prediction: Rich Franklin def. Chuck Liddell by Unanimous Decision

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs Pat Barry

The once feared Croatian striker “Cro Cop” meets another highly talented, upcoming heavyweight in Pat Barry at UFC 115. On paper, Barry is the heavy favorite in this fight. He has the hand speed to frustrate Mirko, and the power behind those punches to end the night early. Barry also has incredibly powerful leg kicks that could turn the worn down stems of Filipovic into an applesauce like substance. With all of that said, there is still a part of me that thinks Cro Cop wins this fight. Pat Barry’s gas tank is a serious question mark.  As Barry wears down, his hands will drop, leaving him open for a left high kick from Cro Cop that can shut out the lights on anyone. Just 2 weeks after Mike Russow de-railed the Todd Duffee hype train, don’t be surprised if Pat Barry is the next to falter.

Prediction: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def. Pat Barry by TKO – Rd. 3

Carlos Condit vs Rory MacDonald

Former WEC welterweight champion, Carlos Condit takes on the young Canadian phenom Rory MacDonald. On the feet, Condit has the more effective striking and clinch game to fluster MacDonald. The problem is, Condit’s Achilles heel has always been his take-down defense. MacDonald will have no problem getting this fight to the floor, where he will have complete control. Condit has a good guard game, but MacDonald will not be looking to stay in that guard for very long. With his slick jiu-jitsu, MacDonald should have no problem moving to better positioning on Condit keeping him out of trouble. Condit is a very tough guy to finish, but the constant ground and pound matched with multiple submission attempts should earn Rory MacDonald the easy decision.

Prediction: Rory MacDonald def. Carlos Condit by Unanimous Decision

Paulo Thiago vs Martin Kampmann

Paulo Thiago has shown he can dominate fights anywhere the action may go. He’s got crisp boxing, with power behind the punches on the feet, a paralyzing top-control game, and savvy jiu-jitsu to lock up submissions from any position. Kampmann is also incredibly well-rounded, but is not better at any one skill than Thiago. Kampmann may try for takedowns of his own, but Thiago showed against Jacob Volkmann that he’s very good at creating scrambles and taking back control from those take-down attempts.

Prediction: Paulo Thiago def. Martin Kampmann by Submission – Rd. 3

Ben Rothwell vs Gilbert Yvel

Not much to break down in this fight…. two large heavyweights that like to throw big hands. Yvel will look to keep distance while looking for the one big powerful punch or kick for the knockout. Rothwell wants to get in close and maul his opponent with a lot of  short punches in route to a TKO stoppage. The loser will most likely be given their walking papers from the UFC.

Prediction: Ben Rothwell def Gilbert Yvel by TKO – Rd. 1

Tyson Griffin vs Evan Dunham

Two Xtreme Couture fighters showing the rest of the world that teammates can compete against each other… take heed AKA camp. Both fighters are stylistically similar just with different body types. Dunham, the much taller fighter will have the sizable reach advantage and if used correctly could be the difference in the fight. If Dunham uses his jab early and often, he can keep distance with Griffin and keep this fight on the feet. Griffin likes to set up punishing combinations inside with leg kicks that slow his opponent down. If Griffin is losing the stand up war, he should have no problem dragging Dunham to the ground if he gets a hold of one of his legs. When the fighters hits the mat, the duel remains a struggle for both combatants. Dunham has a very active guard game, while Griffin’s submission defense is top notch. If Dunham ends up with top control, the outcome remains the same. I like this fight to be 15 minutes of non-stop action, with neither fighter getting a true advantage. In the end, I think Griffin’s takedowns will be key factor in the fight, even though nothing will come of them. Look for a possible split decision in this one.

 Prediction: Tyson Griffin def. Evan Dunham by Decision

 Mac Danzig vs Matt Wiman

Mac Danzig needs a win on Saturday night or he might become the first winner of the Ultimate Fighter television show to receive his UFC pink slip. Since winning season 6 of the show, Danzig has gone just 2-3 inside the octagon. Danzig has struggled against strong wrestlers in his tenure in the UFC. While Matt Wiman’s wrestling isn’t considered to be great, it’s still better than what Danzig has to offer. Danzig’s best chance at success will be on the feet against Wiman. He can strike with efficiency at any range, but is best in close when he can deliver his powerful uppercuts. The problem with that against Wiman though, the closer he gets the more susceptible to the take-down he becomes. Wiman won’t have an easy time passing Danzig’s guard to gain better positioning, but he does have a knack for taking his opponents back on scrambles. I like Wiman to come out and test the waters on the feet early, where likely Danzig will get the better of the exchanges. Then Wiman will fall back on his wrestling/jiu-jitsu to wear down and frustrate Danzig for 15 minutes.

Prediction: Matt Wiman def. Mac Danzig by Unanimous Decision

Mario Miranda vs David Loiseau

You can’t say the UFC doesn’t do anything nice for their former superstars. David Loiseau gets another shot at UFC fame in front of his countrymen in Vancouver. Unfortunately for Loiseau, they paired him up against a rising star in Mario Miranda. Much like UFC 115’s headliner, Chuck Liddell, Loiseau is as one-dimensional as it gets. Loiseau will look to stand and bang like usual, but Miranda’s striking is good enough (if not better) to neutralize any advantage Loiseau might have had on the feet. Miranda is also the far superior grappler, so once the fight hits the ground, expect Loiseau to take even more of a beating down there. Loiseau is known for the amount of punishment he can withstand, but I feel Miranda will come out with something to prove after his TKO loss to Gerald Harris in his UFC debut.

Prediction: Mario Miranda def. David Loiseau by TKO – Rd. 3

James Wilks vs Peter Sobotta

On Saturday, it will be the first time in 364 days that Peter Sobotta has stepped in a cage. That doesn’t bode well for anyone, let alone someone that’s still growing in the sport in the first place. James Wilks comes in battle tested after a three round war against the extremely tough, Matt Brown. Wilks is known for his jiu-jitsu savvy, but often fights like he’s in a grappling match and not an MMA fight, leaving his face exposed for a beat down. I don’t think that will hinder him much at UFC 115, because I don’t see Sobotta ever getting a strong top position. Once the bell rings, I see Wilks pushing the fight towards the cage, then dragging Sobotta to the ground. Once the fight hits the floor, it shouldn’t be too long until the submission stoppage occurs.

Prediction: James Wilks def. Peter Sobotta by Submission – Rd. 1

Mike Pyle vs Jesse Lennox

Jesse Lennox is at his best, wrestling his opponent to the ground then posturing up and dropping hammer-fists. He might have to come up with a new game plan on Saturday if he hopes to leave Vancouver with a victory. With 16 submission victories, Mike Pyle is one the most accomplished grapplers in the division. Neither Pyle or Lennox are strong boxers, but Pyle is known for going into panic mode after the first time he gets hit hard. Jesse Lennox doesn’t have the takedown defense to keep this fighting standing for very long though.

Prediction: Mike Pyle def. Jesse Lennox by Submission – Rd. 2

Ricardo Funch vs Claude Patrick

Another top Canadian welterweight prospect, Claude Patrick  makes his debut on home turf at UFC 115. Ricardo Funch showed little offensive dexterity in his fight with Johny Hendricks, but did show a toughness you can’t teach. Funch was easily taken down by the Oklahoma State wrestling phenom, but was able to will himself out of tough situations. Claude Patrick will have the same take down efficiency as Hendricks, but his ability to finish the fight is much greater. This should be an easy showcase fight for Claude Patrick.

Prediction: Claude Patrick def. Ricardo Funch by Submission – Rd. 1

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2010 in Predictions, UFC

 

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UFC: Ultimate Fight Night 21 Predictions

Charlie Brenneman vs Jason High

Charlie Brenneman made a name for himself in the local circuit with strong ground and pound capabilities. He’s got a strong wrestling background, but it doesn’t quite compare to the elite grappling ability of Jason High. If Brenneman is able to avoid some the take downs, Jason High should still have the slight advantage on the feet. Brenneman’s whole MMA game relies on his ability to take his opponent down, and that’s just not going to happen against Jason High. I like High to be able to get the take down at will, then work his underrated jiu-jitsu for a late finish.

Prediction: Jason High def Charlie Brenneman by Kimura – Rd. 2

Gerald Harris vs Mario Miranda

Two of the top middleweight prospects in the world meet on the undercard of UFN 21. Gerald Harris will be looking to use his heavy hands and wrestling to defeat his Brazilian foe. Mario Miranda enters the cage with an outstanding grappling game, but the striking isn’t quite there yet. Miranda would be foolish to stand and trade with Harris, whose boxing is far superior. Miranda will look to close distance and get the fight to floor while avoiding the big shot. If he can get inside, taking Harris down will not be an easy task either. I like Harris’ strong wrestling ability to keep the fight on the feet long enough to land the overhand right that will drop Miranda. This fight will most likely be a “Fight of the Night” nominee, and also showcase two rising middleweights with bright futures ahead.

Prediction: Gerald Harris def Mario Miranda by TKO – Rd. 2

Lucio Linhares vs Yushin Okami

The UFC has given Lucio Linhares no love since signing him to the promotion. Both fights given to him have been against two extremely large middleweights with crippling strength and wrestling ability. First it was Rousimar Palhares and know he gets Yushin Okami. Linhares has a strong submission game, but the likelihood of him grabbing the neck or arm of Okami is laughable. Expect Okami to do what Okami always does…. Push Linhares up against the cage, work the take down, then use his paralyzing wrestling to completely neutralize his opponent.

Prediction: Yushin Okami def Lucio Linhares by Unanimous Decision

Caol Uno vs Gleison Tibau

The glory days Caol Uno have passed, and the UFC isn’t make his life any easier putting him up against Gleison Tibau. Uno’s take down defense isn’t as strong as it once was, which doesn’t bode well for him in this fight. Gleison Tibau may have the most powerful take downs in all of MMA. Uno’s scramble ability will help in get back to his feet in many situations, but he will find himself back on the mat before you know it. Combine Tibau’s shaky finishing skills with Uno’s durability and you’ve surely got a 15 minute fight.

 Prediction: Gleison Tibau def Caol Uno by Unanimous Decision.

Rob Emerson vs Nik Lentz

Rob Emerson may be the most inconsistent fighter on the UFC roster. Some fights he’ll show strong counter punching skills with raw punching power, while other fights he’ll look hesitant to throw punches at all. Emerson’s take down defense has improved greatly since his days on “The Ultimate Fighter” show. That will come in handy against Nik Lentz, who trains at the wrestling-heavy Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. Lentz also brings a heavy-handed, yet often sloppy, kick boxing game to the cage. His leg kicks pack some power, but they are often telegraphed leaving him open to the counter. This fight really depends on which Rob Emerson shows up. The tentative Emerson, most likely will lose a decision, while the explosive Emerson should earn the TKO victory.

Prediction: Nik Lentz def Rob Emerson by Unanimous Decision

Ronys Torres vs Jacob Volkmann

Torres and Volkmann both came into the UFC with a lot of hype behind them, but so far neither one has delivered.  For having a strong Division I wrestling background , Volkmann has struggled heavily to stay on his feet against the stronger opponents. Now he moves down to 155 for the first time, where he hopes to have the strength advantage. Hopefully Volkmann’s grappling technique has improved since his last few fights, because Torres has shown great take down skills in the past. Even though this fight will not likely stay upright long, Volkmann may have a small advantage in the boxing area. I like Torres’ relentless take downs to wear Volkmann down earning him a lopsided decision victory.

Prediction: Ronys Torres def Jacob Volkmann by Unanimous Decision

Rafaello Oliveira vs Andre Winner

Andre Winner, “The Ultimate Fighter” season 9 runner-up, makes his return to the cage against Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist, Rafaello Oliveira. Andre Winner’s solid take down defense will most likely prove to be Oliveira’s biggest problem. Oliveira needs top position to really make his jiu-jitsu dangerous. As long as Winner can keep this fight on the feet, it’s only a matter of time before he releases the dynamite in his fists. Winner has an uncanny ability to find his range and drop bombs to the face of his opponents. This could be a real rough night for Oliveira…

Prediction: Andre Winner def Rafaello Oliveira by KO – Rd. 1

Ross Pearson vs Dennis Siver

I love this fight. Two of the most technical strikers in the lightweight division going at it. Siver is a kick boxer, who has recently made the spinning back kick one of his most feared moves. Siver comes at you early and fast with flying knees, superman punches, and leg kicks that could chop down trees. Pearson, the more classical boxer, put on a striking clinic in his last fight with Aaron Riley. As impressive as that victory was, i still just can’t get on the Ross Pearson bandwagon yet. I still believe Andre Winner will be the biggest find for the UFC from “The Ultimate Fighter” season 9. Pearson’s chin and durability will be tested tonight, and a win could give him a serious bump in competition.

Prediction: Dennis Siver def Ross Pearson by TKO – Rd. 2

Nate Quarry vs Jorge Rivera

No game plan analysis needed for this fight featuring Nate Quarry and Jorge Rivera. Two power-punchers with suspect chins will be trying to knock off the other one’s head from the opening bell.

Prediction: Nate Quarry def Jorge Rivera by KO – Rd. 1

Roy Nelson vs Stefan Struve

According to pre-fight interviews, both fighters intend to test each other on the feet early. Struve will have the major reach advantage but lacks any real KO power, while Roy Nelson has pin-point accuracy with his punches and power behind them. If Nelson decides to take this fight to floor, there shouldn’t be any resistance from Struve. Nelson has unbelievable top control, but Struve has been the most dangerous from his back in his young UFC career. Any where this fight goes, it should be incredibly entertaining.

Prediction: Roy Nelson def Stefan Struve by TKO – Rd. 2

Kenny Florian vs Takanori Gomi

Takanori Gomi finally makes his anticipated UFC debut, unfortunately it’s about 2 years too late. Gomi isn’t the fighter he once was, but still is incredibly dangerous on the feet. Gomi will need to be the strong boxer he once was, because Kenny Florian has emerged as one of the best counter-punchers in the UFC. If Gomi is still the predictable slugger he’s been lately, Florian will exploit it with ease. Gomi’s biggest weakness is his cardio and against a work horse like Florian, that could be fatal. Gomi’s best shot of winning this fight will be in the first few minutes, the longer the fight drags on, the more the edge goes to Florian.

Prediction: Kenny Florian def Takanori Gomi by Rear Naked Choke – Rd. 2

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Predictions, UFC

 

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My UFC 111 Predictions

Matt Riddle vs Greg Soto

UFC-newcomer Greg Soto comes into the octagon with a savvy ground game, but faces a nasty style match-up against Matt Riddle. Coming off his first professional loss, Riddle will look to rebound by using his crippling top control to frustrate Soto. Lacking a strong wrestling skill set or a striking perils to throw Riddle off his game, Soto will spend 15 minutes on his back looking for a submission that most likely won’t be there. Long night ahead for Soto….

Prediction: Matt Riddle def Greg Soto by Unanimous Decision

Jared Hamman vs Rodney Wallace

I was pretty disappointed in Wallace’s debut in the UFC, but Brian Stann is no easy task. Stann was able to fight off many of Wallace’s take downs and the one’s that did hit the mat, Stann was back on his feet in no time. That will not be the case against Jared Hamman. Hamman’s tall, lanky frame will serve as target practice for Wallace’s wrestling background. Not only that, Hamman will be swinging away wildly looking for the big KO, leaving himself vulnerable for the double leg take down. As long as Wallace can avoid the big shot, he should spend most of the fight in dominant position on the mat. Eventually Wallace will work a submission to send Hamman back to Strikeforce.

Prediction: Rodney Wallace def. Jarred Hamman by Rear Naked Choke – Rd. 2

Tomasz Drwal vs Rousimar Palhares

Tomasz Drwal has quietly been moving up the ranks of the UFC 185 lbs roster. The Polish middleweight has run off three wins in a row, and now will face the jiu-jitsu ace, Rousimar Palhares. Palhares usually is able to out-muscle his opponents to the mat to make up for his less than average wrestling skills. He will not have that luxury on Saturday night against Drwal. If Palhares is unable to get Drwal to the floor, he will be on the wrong side of heavy punches thrown by Drwal. Palhares struggled immensely against Dan Henderson, who had the better wrestling and the more crisp boxing. This fight should be very similar.

Prediction: Tomasz Drwal def. Rousimar Palhares by TKO – Rd. 2

Ricardo Almeida vs Matt Brown

This is one of the hardest fights for me to call. Ricardo Almeida finally makes his debut at 170 lbs at UFC 111. It’s always tough to predict a fight where one of the combatants fight at a lower weight for the first time. There’s no way to tell how the weight cut has affected their strength, cardio, or overall health. Almeida is a wizard on the ground, but like many jiu-jitsu fighters, he doesn’t have the wrestling skills to get the fight to floor. Matt Brown’s take down defense is good enough to keep Almeida away from his strong suit. On the feet, it’s not even close…. Matt Brown has the superior striking skills that could put Almeida to sleep early. As long as Brown doesn’t give up his back in a scramble, i think this fight is tailor made for him.

Prediction: Matt Brown def Ricardo Almeida by TKO – Rd. 1

Nate Diaz vs Rory Markham

I love this match-making by Joe Silva. On the feet, Rory Markham has the advantage due to his highlight reel KO power while Diaz throws a lot of punches, but nothing really behind them. On the ground, Diaz has the advantage as Markham’s grappling game is nothing to brag home about. The X-factor’s make this fight even more interesting… Markham has the KO power, but Diaz’s chin seems to be made of granite. Diaz’s ground game is impressive, but in Markham’s 21 fight career, he’s never been submitted. I think Diaz will have a tough time getting this fight to the ground, and every minute that this fight is on the feet is a risk for him. I like Markham to keep on the feet long enough to land a big right hand or head kick to send Diaz back down to 155.

Prediction: Rory Markham def Nate Diaz by KO – Rd. 2

Mark Bocek vs Jim Miller

As a big fan of both of these fighters, I am not looking forward to this fight due to the inevitable one-sided affair this will be. Jim Miller’s game is Mark Bocek’s weakness. If this fight stays on the feet, it could be a pretty even fight, but Miller showed great improvement in his striking against Duane Ludwig in his last fight. Miller probably has no intention of staying on the feet very long though. He’ll use his superior wrestling to get take down after take down with relative ease. Bocek’s jiu-jitsu is some of the best in the 155 lb division in the UFC, but he does most of his damage with top position. From his back, i just don’t see Miller getting clumsy leaving his head or arm out there where Bocek can take it.

Prediction: Jim Miller def Mark Bocek by Unanimous Decision

Jon Fitch vs Ben Saunders

A brave move for Ben Saunders to step in for Thiago Alves against Jon Fitch on Saturday. Unfortunately, it will ultimately be a dumb move. Jon Fitch has made a nice living out of utilizing his elite wrestling to overwhelm any opponent who doesn’t have the wrestling background to keep him off you. Saunders’ wrestling skills shouldn’t even be used in the same sentence with Fitch. Saunders may even have the better stand-up, but Fitch is too smart to even think about playing his game. Fitch is known as the decision king, but he may frustrate Saunders so much that he’ll give up an arm or leg for Fitch to snatch up.

Prediction – Jon Fitch def Ben Saunders by Armbar – Rd. 3

Fabricio Camoes vs Kurt Pellegrino

Things don’t look good for Fabricio Camoes heading into Saturday night against Kurt Pellegrino. Pellegrino, who has won three fights in a row, is just a couple more wins away from title consideration. Which means he’s not going to take any chances against Camoes, so expect a heavy dose of ground and pound with jiu-jitsu. The experience favor for Pellegrino should play a heavy role in this fight. I see Camoes spending a lot of time in bad positions, with little to no offense due to Pellegrino’s relentless pace on the floor.

Prediction: Kurt Pellegrino def Fabricio Camoes by Unanimous Decision

Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin

Oh boy.. here we go. Shane Carwin has smothering wrestling capabilities and jaw shattering power in his hands, but his submission defense is still unknown. Frank Mir has some of the best jiu-jitsu in the world for a heavyweight and much improved boxing, but hates getting punched. Mir’s biggest downfall has always been when he gets hit hard for the first time he seems to start making ridiculous mistakes that end up causing him to lose the fight. Since Carwin has never been past the three minute mark in the first round, his cardio is also a serious question mark. If Carwin wins, it’s probably going to be in the first couple minutes like usual. If it goes any longer than that, that leaves too much time for Mir to grab a limb and take it home with him.

Prediction: Shane Carwin def Frank Mir by TKO – Rd. 1

Georges St. Pierre vs Dan Hardy

I’ve seen too many crazy things in my years of watching MMA to say Dan Hardy doesn’t have a chance in the world to win this fight. But, he has a very, very, very small chance to win this fight. Hardy showed much improved take down defense against Mike Swick, but Georges St. Pierre brings a wrestling game like no one else in the divison… ask Thiago Alves. Hardy will be looking for the big KO from the first bell, but will spend most of his time looking up at the celling.

Prediction: Georges St. Pierre def Dan Hardy by Armbar – Rd. 2

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2010 in Predictions, UFC

 

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UFC on Versus 1: Predictions

Jon Jones vs Brandon Vera

Jon Jones’ game plan for every fight has been the same… Unleash fury on his opponent. He uses snap kicks, leg trips, spinning back elbows, or whatever sounds fun at the time. His awkward boxing style has befuddled everyone he’s faced. He comes in with punches from all angles that frustrates anyone on the other side of them. Brandon Vera will look to keep distance with his long leg kicks, and follow them up with strikes. I’m interested to see how Jones handles himself in Vera’s muay thai clinch if the fight gets there. I don’t see Jones using too many of his leg sweeps or judo throws against Vera, due to the danger Vera can be on his back. I think this fight will be on the feet for the majority of the time, which favors the unorthodox, Jones.

Prediction: Jon Jones def Brandon Vera by TKO – Rd. 2

Junior dos Santos vs Gabriel Gonzaga

Gabriel Gonzaga becomes the first opponent since Fabricio Werdum that can possibly get the fight to the ground and test Dos Santos’ jiu-jitsu. We’ve all seen the destruction that Dos Santos can create on the feet, but we still haven’t seen his black belt jiu-jitsu in action. Gonzaga is dangerous on the feet as well, but i just can’t see him wanting to stand with Dos Santos for very long. I’ve seen video of Dos Santos’ ground game against Joaquim Ferreira and it was nothing to go crazy about. If Gonzaga can get this fight to the ground, Dos Santos could be in a lot of trouble. I’m calling an upset here…

Prediction: Gabriel Gonzaga def Junior Dos Santos by Armbar – Rd. 2

Paul Buentello vs Cheick Kongo

Not much to dissect in this bout. Both guys are going to come in and look to knock each other’s head’s off. Buentello hasn’t had a submission victory since 2005 and Kongo since 2003. I don’t see that changing on Sunday. Tough fight to call since both fighters have one punch KO power with a solid boxing background to back it up. It may come down to hand speed, which should favor Kongo just a bit. I’m not really feeling a finish though….

Prediction: Cheick Kongo def Paul Buentello by Unanimous Decision

 Alessio Sakara vs James Irvin

Much like the fight above, maybe more so…. these guys will be looking for the big right hand from the first bell to the last one. Sakara, since training at American Top Team, has looked much more well-rounded in his last few fights. Irvin, is coming off a year and a half lay off due to a couple nagging injuries. I think Irvin may be a little sluggish due to the long lay off and will probably suffer the same result as the last time we saw him in the cage. KO’d.

Prediction: Alessio Sakara def James Irvin by KO – Rd. 1

 

Clay Guida vs Shannon Gugerty

Thank God this fight is on the prelim card. I don’t want to watch Guida lay on Gugerty for 15 minutes.

Prediction: Clay Guida def Shannon Gugerty by Unanimous Decision 

Eliot Marshall vs Vladimir Matyushenko

Interesting match-up here. A case of two generations meeting at the crossroads of their careers. Eliot Marshall showed much improved take down defense in his last fight with Jason Brilz since his time on the Ultimate Fighter. Marshall will look to stay up-right and use his jab, which should land at will due to Matyushenko’s diminishing hand speed and the tendency to lower the right hand. As long as Marshall can avoid the clinch game and stay on his feet, i like him to pull the mild upset.

Prediction: Eliot Marshall def Vladimir Matyushenko by Unanimous Decision

Darren Elkins vs Duane “Bang” Ludwig

Every time Ludwig enters the cage he has one thing in mind, and that’s to try and knock his opponent’s head off. Darren Elkins looks to get an early take down and expose Ludwig’s very inefficient ground game. I like the experience of Ludwig to be able to fend off the take down of Elkins, and eventually score the big shot earning him maybe the last big win of his career.

Prediction: Duane Ludwig def Darren Elkins by TKO – Rd. 3

John Howard vs Daniel Roberts

John Howard is known more for his athletic ability more than being a technically sound fighter. Howard uses his strength to control fighters, wear them down, then look for the big KO shot. Daniel Roberts was a collegiate wrestler, who has made a name for himself in the MMA world by getting some slick submissions on his opponents. Roberts need to look for a submission early, most likely off his back, or it could be a long night for the UFC newcomer.

Prediction: John Howard def Daniel Roberts by Unanimous Decision

Chase Gormley vs Brendan Schaub

A good match-up for last year’s Ultimate Fighter runner up, Brendan Schuab. Gormley, a wrestler with little to no offense perils or submission defense. Due to Schaub’s football frame alone, Gormley should not have an easy time getting or keeping him down on the mat. I’m not quite sure if the end will come by TKO or submission, but it should be an impressive performance for Schaub.

Prediction: Brendan Schaub def Chase Gormley by Armbar – Rd. 1

Julio Paulino vs Mike Pierce

Prediction: Mike Pierce def Julio Paulino by TKO – Rd. 2

Jason Brilz vs Eric Schafer

Prediction: Jason Brilz def Eric Schafer by Unanimous Decision

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2010 in Predictions, UFC

 

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WEC 47 Predictions

Main Card

Brian Bowles vs Dominick Cruz

What an awesome fight this will be. A classic power vs speed match-up for the bantamweight title. Brian Bowles, the champ, makes his first title defense seven months later after suffering a hand injury on Miguel Torres’ face. Bowles feels some what disrespected after a lot of people have called his win over Miguel Torres “lucky” and will come in with a chip on his shoulder. Bowles has a strong wrestling background and a right hand loaded with dynamite. Cruz has some of the best movement in the MMA game. His head, hands, and feet speed is just ridiculous. To beat Brian Bowles, Cruz will have to use his leg kicks to keep distance between them and out point the champ. If Bowles closes the distance, Cruz might be taking a nap. Cruz showed great take down defense in his fight with Joesph Benavidaz and will need it again tonight because Bowles has a great top game with underestimated submissions. Cardio shouldn’t be an issue for either fighter. This should be an extremely exciting fight from start to finish.

Prediction: Brian Bowles def Dominick Cruz by TKO – Rd. 3

Miguel Torres vs Joesph Benavidez

Miguel Torres’ rise back to the top of the bantamweight division starts tonight. Torres’ is hungrier and more focused than ever heading in to this fight, and that is an incredibly scary thought. Alpha Male prospect, Joesph Benavidez has risen to the top of the division pretty fast with his high paced kick boxing technique. His wild stand up game might be his downfall tonight, with Torres having the much more crisp boxing. I see Torres landing a right hand fairly early knocking down Benavidez, then pouncing on him to get the TKO or submission victory.

Prediction: Miguel Torres def Joesph Benavidez by TKO – Rd. 1

Javier Vazquez vs Jens Pulver

Both fighters in this one desperately need a victory Saturday night. Jens Pulver has been contemplating retirement after four straight losses while Vazquez has been on the wrong side of two split decisions in his WEC career. Pulver, a legend of the sport, in my opinion just doesn’t offer much now at the end of his career. If Josh Grispi and Urijah Faber both can submit Pulver, the jiu-jitsu black belt Vazquez should have no problem.

Prediction: Javier Vazquez def Jens Pulver by Rear Naked Choke – Rd. 1

LC Davis vs Devidas Taurosevicius

Taurosevicius may of had his best fight of his career against Mackens Semerzier in last fight. His wrestling was outstanding, and his submission defense was impenetrable against a guy that submitted Wagnney Fabiano. LC Davis has had an impressive run in his short WEC career as well, winning a decision against Javier Vazquez and Diego Nunes, who was previously unbeaten. I like Taurosevicius to have pretty much the same game plan for Davis as he did for Semerzier, and should be able to excute it the same. This fight may not be very pleasing to the eyes, but it could cement Taurosevicius as the next #1 contender for the winner of Aldo vs Faber.

Prediction: Devidas Taurosevicius def LC Davis by Unanimous Decision

Karen Darabedyan vs Bart Palaszewski

Karen Darabedyan may have had the best WEC debut out of anybody. He was a huge underdog against the former WEC lightweight champion, Rob McCullough. Darabedyan completely out classed McCullough in every way. If he can do that against McCullough, he should have no problem with Palaszewski.

Prediction: Karen Darabedyan def Bart Palaszewski by TKO – Rd. 2

Chad George vs Scott Jorgensen

Scott Jorgensen has been on a mission as of late to get his name in the title picture. After upsetting Takeya Mizugaki, Jorgensen put himself on the map. At WEC 47 he takes on the veteran Chad George. Both fighters are well-rounded, but i believe Jorgensen is a little better in each area. I expect a boxing match for most of the fight and occasionally Jorgensen getting a take down to wear down his opponent. I like Jorgensen to land a big shot in the first or second round, and finish him off on the ground.

Prediction: Scott Jorgensen def Chad George by TKO – Rd. 2

Erik Koch vs Chad Mendes

Chad Mendes is the latest Team Alpha Male to make his way to the WEC roster. He is a two time All-American wrestler out of California Polytechnic State University. Mendes will most likely take Koch down, but it’s his submission defense that must be on key. Five of eight victories for Koch have come by submission. I expect Mendes’ top control to be smothering, so Koch will have a difficult time trying to grab an arm or a leg. Close Fight… tough one to call.

Prediction Chad Mendes def Erik Koch by Unanimous Decision

Danny Castillo vs Anthony Pettis

Castillo is a member of Team Alpha Male, training with Urijah Faber. He was an NAIA All-American wrestler for Menlo College. Pettis has a background in Tae Kwon Do and has won three fights by way of KO/TKO with two of his submission victories also coming via strikes. These fights are the toughest to call…

Prediction: Danny Castillo def Anthony Pettis by TKO – Rd. 3
 

George Roop vs Leonard Garcia

This is George Roop’s last chance to make it in a Zuffa promotion most likely. A tough task awaits him this evening in the former #1 contender Leonard Garcia. Loser of 2 of his last 3 fights, Garcia will be incredibly hungry to stay atop the elite fighters in the featherweight division. George Roop has a solid ground game, but finds himself in stand up wars quite frequently. Against Leonard Garcia, that could prove to be fatal.

Prediction: Leonard Garcia def George Roop by TKO – Rd. 2

Courtney Buck vs Fredson Paixao

Courtney Buck could be in for another troubling night inside the WEC Cage. In his fight with Brandon Visher, his boxing style was just wild. Buck may have power in those hay-makers but in the WEC you’re fighting the best in the world. Paixao should have no problem getting this fight to the ground, where Courtney Buck isn’t dangerous at all, unless drastic changes have occurred in 3 months. If Fredson Paixao can avoid the big KO punch in the first couple minutes of the fight, i believe the fight is his.

Prediction: Fredson Paixao def Courtney Buck by Rear Naked Choke – Rd. 1 

Bendy Casimir vs Ricardo Lamas

Solid opening fight for the WEC 47 card. Bendy Casimir makes his WEC debut bringing a solid jiu-jitsu game with him to the cage. Ricardo Lamas comes in with a strong wrestling background and steady improving kick boxing skills. I see Lamas controlling the fight on the feet, and earning take downs with ease to ensure the judges that the round belonged to him. As long as Lamas doesn’t get caught in one of Casimir’s guillotine chokes, Lamas should earn an easy decision victory.

Prediction: Ricardo Lamas def Bendy Casimir by Unanimous Decision

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2010 in Predictions, WEC

 

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My UFC 110 Predictions

Main Card

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez

UFC 110’s main event, features an MMA legend, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira against a fast rising prospect, Cain Velasquez. Nogueira’s game plan will be to keep his distance from Velasquez with his boxing, while looking for the opportune time for a shoot-in take down, where he’ll look for the submission. Velasquez will most likely try to use his relentless take down ability and over bearing top control to G-n-P the Brazilian for a victory. As long as Velasquez can avoid the submission inside Nogueira’s guard, i like Velasquez to work from top position and earn a decision victory. A passing of the the torch, if you may…

Prediction: Cain Velasquez def Antonio Nogueira by Unanimous Decision

Michael Bisping vs Wanderlei Silva

There is no secret what Wanderlei Silva is going to try and do. His goal every fight is to put his opponent to sleep in highlight reel fashion. Michael Bisping has been working on his power since his KO loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100. He showed great improvement in that department against Denis Kang, knocking him down in the 2nd round then soon finishing him off with some ground-n-pound. “The Axe-Murder” Silva’s career, comes down to this fight in my opinion. Losing 5 of his last 6 fights, this is a MUST win to prove his relevance in the best promotion in the world. Sadly, i just don’t see Wanderlei Silva winning this fight. Silva always has the one punch KO threat, but i believe Bisping learned a lot in his loss to Henderson and will stay out of the reach of that deadly right hand. I like Bisping to keep his distance, work his boxing and eventually get the TKO victory.

Prediction: Michael Bisping def Wanderlei Silva by TKO – Rd. 2

Joe Stevenson vs George Sotiropolous

This is my favorite match-up of the night. Joe Stevenson has looked better than ever in his last couple fights in the UFC, since moving to Greg Jackson’s MMA. Sotiropolous is one of the best overall prospects in the 155 lb. division in the UFC. Both fighters have strong wrestling background with equally as good ju-jitsu. Neither one has outstanding boxing, and both fighters should look to take this fight to the ground as soon as possible. I see this fight changing levels a lot, and it should be incredibly exciting. This fight will most likely come down to who gets the better top position on the ground first. If either one of these guys gets to mount or side-mount, the fight is usually over soon. I like George Sotiropolous to grab an arm or neck late in the fight to finish and establish himself as a top contender in the division. Fight of the Night bonus should be heading this way…

Prediction George Sotiropolous def Joe Stevenson by Armbar – 3rd Round

Ryan Bader vs Keith Jardine

Keith Jardine is in a similar perdicament as Wanderlei Silva. A win at UFC 110 is a must, or his days as being a serious contender at the light heavweight division are over. Ryan Bader is looking to put his name in the top 10 in the division with a win over Jardine. Bader will probably know, he is one good punch away from a victory against Jardine’s suspect chin. Jardine is at his best when he is able to utilize his reach with his long leg kicks to keep his opponents away from him and point his way to victory. If Bader can get in close, this could be another short night for Jardine. I see Bader keeping things on the feet to start while looking for the KO. If Jardine is getting the better of the stand-up war, Bader should fall back on his elite wrestling skills to take down and control Jardine from top position. I see the fight being pretty even on the feet, where both fighters will get good shots in. But, the fight will lean toward Bader as he should have no problem taking Jardine down and work where ever he want to on the ground, as Jardine is awful on his back.

Prediction: Ryan Bader def Keith Jardine by TKO – Rd. 3

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs Ben Rothwell

For the first time in his storied career, Cro Cop has trained for this fight with a real camp. He’s been training for Ben Rothwell at the highly touted Vos Gym in Holland. From what i hear, Cro Cop has been extremely motivated to make one more run at the UFC Heavyweight title. Even at his age, a hungry Mirko Cro Cop is a very dangerous thing. Ben Rothwell, has basically been beaten to a bloody pulp in his last two meaningful fights against Andrei Arlovski and Cain Velasquez. I really think were all going to see the highlight reel KO that MMA fans have been waiting for since Mirko came to the UFC.

Prediction: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def Ben Rothwell by KO – Rd. 1

Preliminary Card

Chris Haseman vs Elvis Sinosic

The UFC does a nice jesture and allows to Australian born UFC-vets to get on the 1st card on their home continent. The loser will likely be cut, while the winner will get another shot to make it in the light heavyweight division. Haseman, 41 years old, returns to MMA for only the 2nd time in 6 years. Sinosic, 39, returns after a 2 year break. This fight is more for the 2 combatants than the fans, and i applaud the UFC for the move.

Prediction: Elvis Sinosic def Chris Haseman by TKO – Rd. 1

Stephan Bonnar vs Krzysztof Soszynski

Stephan Bonnar is the 3rd fighter on the card, that could see his UFC career come to an end with a loss at UFC 110. Being apart of the most important MMA fight of all time, may not save him from a 3 fight losing streak in the division to mid-level fighters. Bonnar is an incredibly smart guy, and has other talents besides fighting. A loss to Mark Coleman in his last fight, really makes me question how much of his heart is left in the sport. If he isn’t 100% commited to this fight, Soszynski could be leaving Australia with Bonnar’s arm. If Bonnar is commited, this could be an exciting fight.

Prediction: Krzysztof Soszynski def Stephan Bonnar by Kimura – Rd .2

Brian Foster vs Chris Lytle

Perennial Fight of the Night winner, Chris Lytle, returns to the cage against rising welterweight prospect Brian Foster. Foster looked mighty impressive in his beat down of Brock Larson in his last fight. Lytle, in 50 fights, has never been TKO’d or Submitted proving his toughness over and over. This fight should be nothing less than a war and a Fight of the Night consideration. It’s hard to pick a winner in this fight since their abilities are so similiar.

Prediction: Chris Lytle def Brian Foster by Unanimous Decision

CB Dollaway vs Goran Reljic

After a nearly 2 year lay off due to a lingering back injury, Goran Reljic FINALLY makes his return to the UFC, 100% healthy. Reljic, considered by many as a lighter version of his Croatian brethren Mikro Cro Crop, dazzled in his UFC debut against the once highly ranked, Wilson Gouveia. Only ring rust will be the factor why he may not leave Australia with a victory. Dollaway brings a solid wrestling base to the cage with him, and would be dumb not to use it against Reljic. If Dollaway decides to brave and stand with Reljic, call it an early night.

Prediction: Goran Reljic def CB Dollaway by TKO – Rd. 1

Igor Pokrajac vs James Te Huna

Aussie light heavyweight prospect James Te Huna makes his UFC debut on his home turf against Croatian veteran Igor Pokrajac. Pokrajac should in all likelihood be fighting for his UFC life after dropping a decision to Vladmir Matsyushenko in his debut. If Pokrajac’s game plan was to stand and fight with Matsyushenko, it should be no different against James Te Huna. Huna will have no problem with that, as he will have the advantage in the power department on the feet. The crowd will most likely be going nuts for their countryman giving Huna the X-factor advantage.

Prediction: James Te Huna def Igor Pokrajac by TKO – Rd. 2

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2010 in Predictions, UFC

 

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