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Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs Pat Barry set for UFC 115

MMA Junkie Reports:

http://mmajunkie.com/news/18107/heavyweights-mirko-cro-cop-filipovic-and-pat-barry-agree-to-ufc-115-meeting.mma

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic

– 26-7-2 MMA/ 3-3 UFC Record

– Won 4 of last 5 Fighst

– Notable Wins: Josh Barnett, Wanderlei Silva, Mark Coleman

Pat Barry

– 5-1-0 MMA/ 2-1 UFC Record

– 5 TKO Victories

– Notable Wins: Antoni Hardonk, Dan Evensen

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2010 in News, UFC

 

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UFC 110: News and Notes

Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Another torch has been passed in the UFC Heavyweight division. From the start of the fight, the fast hands of Velasquez was on display as combination after combination landed to the face of the former champ. At about two minutes in to the fight, both fighters threw overhand rights but Velasquez’s punch landed first right on the chin, dropping Nogueira to the mat. From there, Velasquez blasted Nogueira with four or five more big shots that put Nogueira to sleep. Cain Velasquez adds his name to the number one contender carousel in the heavyweight division.

Wanderlei Silva vs Michael Bisping

This was an even fight from the beginning until the end. Silva would land the bigger shots while on the feet, but Bisping had many solid double leg take downs to even the score cards to the judges. I really think this fight came down to the last 15 seconds of the final round when Wanderlei Silva dropped Bisping with a strong right hand to the ear. If there was 10 more seconds left on the clock, Silva probably would have gotten the TKO victory. Without that last second knock down, this fight decision would have been a coin flip. It was good to see Silva get another victory in the octagon, but i still don’t think he has too much left to offer any of the top guys in the division.

George Sotiropolous vs Joe Stevenson

I was one of the few people to pick Sotiropolous to win this fight, but even I didn’t expect it to look so easy. Sotiropolous had his coming out party to the world in front of thousands of his countrymen. He showed much improved boxing, winning most of the exchanges on the feet. Also great take down defense against Stevenson, who since moving to Greg Jackson’s MMA has taken his foes down at will. But his wrestling/ju-jitsu game was top notch. Sotiropolous was winning the fight even from his back, when Joe Stevenson usually smothers his opponents from top position. An unbelievable performance from a fighter whose potential has no boundaries.

Ryan Bader vs Keith Jardine

Keith Jardine’s relevance in the light heavyweight division is gone. His “unorthodox” striking technique has bit him in the ass again. Unless you are Anderson Silva, Muhammad Ali, or Roy Jones Jr, you can not keep your hands down at your sides so often. Greg Jackson is an MMA guru, but why he can’t drill in to Jardine’s head that his chin is weak and every time he doesn’t keep his hands up, that he’s going to take an early nap is beyond me. Bader came in with a great game plan. He changed levels all throughout the fight, keeping Jardine guessing on what he was going to do. Bader still has a lot of work to do, until he’s ready to compete with the big dogs in the division but he’s definitely on the right track.

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs Anthony Perosh

Ben Rothwell would have been a much more exciting fight i believe than Anthony Perosh. It didn’t really look like Perosh wanted to fight at all from the beginning. Understandably, Perosh didn’t want to get in an exchange on the feet, but even when the fight would hit the ground he wouldn’t make any real offensive moves. Cro Cop showed a great sprawl stuffing all of Perosh’s weak take down attempts, but instead of trying to pull guard or look for a sweep, Perosh would turtle up and take more of a beating. Cro Cop must have got bored, because after a knock down, he actually went in to Perosh’s guard and threw a vicious elbow that opened up a deep cut over the eye. Mercifully, the fight was stopped after the 2nd round due to the laceration. Even though Cro Cop was dominant in the win, he really didn’t show me anything that he can still offer a challenge to the top guys in the division.

Krzysztof Soszynski vs Stephan Bonnar

An unfortunate end to an other wise exciting fight. Soszynski looked to have the upper hand in the first round, but Bonnar was getting on a roll in the second looking to make it a war in the final frame. Early in the third, during a clinch attempt, both fighters bump heads and Bonnar was cut deep. The fight was halted and Soszynski was given the TKO victory, after replay showed the cut came from the accidental head butt. A tough loss for Bonnar, who now has lost 5 of his last 7 fights. Luckily for him, in a interview earlier this week, Dana White said that Bonnar would always have a home in the UFC due to his epic battle with Forrest Griffin. As for Soszynski, he now makes his UFC record 4-1.

Chris Lytle vs Brian Foster

Perennial “Fight of The Night” Award winner, Chris Lytle put his well-rounded skills on display again. Everyone always seems to forget that Lytle has really good ju-jitsu because the guy likes to stand and bang so often. Lytle rocked Foster with a right hand, who then went in for a take down to recover. Lytle then stuffed the take down attempt and smoothly transitioned in to a knee bar and forced Foster to tap quickly. It was kind of a disappointing performance for Foster, who looked so dominant in this thrashing of Brock Larson. As for Lytle, his persona of never having a boring fight lives on.

CB Dollaway vs Goran Reljic

After a two year lay-off due to injury, Goran Reljic finally made his anticiapted return to the cage at UFC 110. Unfortunately, CB Dollaway spoiled his night by using his top notch wrestling to keep Reljic from showing off his electric kick boxing skills. It was Reljic’s first career loss and i’m sure he will come back with a vengeance. For Dollaway, it’s his second win in a row as he climbs up the middleweight ladder.

James Te Huna vs Igor Pokrajac

The New Zealand native, James Te Huna, got his UFC career off on the right foot. Pokrajac didn’t go down without a fight. The opening two rounds were back and forth, as both fighters got in good shots on the feet. James Te Huna showed a lot of power with big slams, putting Pokrajac on his head. In the third, Huna slammed Pokrajac to the mat and took top position. During a scramble back to their feet, a flurry of punches from Huna found their mark, giving him the TKO victory.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2010 in News and Notes

 

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Ben Rothwell Out; Antony Perosh in versus Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic – Sinosic vs Haseman Scratched off Prelims

MMA Junkie Reports:

http://mmajunkie.com/news/17995/perosh-replaces-rothwell-at-ufc-110-sinosic-vs-haseman-pulled-from-prelims.mma

Anthony Perosh

– 10-5-0 MMA/ 0-2 UFC Record

– Won 3 of last 4 Fights

– Notable Wins:

MF: Wow, with less than 48 hours until the start of the show, two major changes to the UFC 110 fight card has occured. Ben Rothwell has been forced out of his fight with Cro Cop due to an illness that wasn’t disclosed to the media. UFC-vet and Australian born Anthony Perosh steps in as a late replacement. As of right now, the Cro Cop/Perosh fight will still be on the main card as originally planned. Also, the fight between the Aussie MMA trail blazers Elvis Sinosic and Chris Haseman has been scratched, due to a shoulder injury suffered by Elvis Sinosic. Rather than find a late replacement for Haseman, they decided to hault the bout.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2010 in News, UFC

 

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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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