Archive for May, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Episode 9:Who Fights Faulkner? and Bisping Shows a Lack of Class in Front of His Students

Posted in The Ultimate Fighter TV Show with tags , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

Alright Ultimate Fighter fans, this was a much better episode than last weeks, perhaps it’s because the show is more focused on two guys that are actually willing to fight…kinda.

Last episode left us all trying to guess who was going to step up from the already-beatens and take on David Faulkner in a second chance of a lifetime fight?  The answer, Frank Lester.  Lester bless your heart you are a true warrior.  For those of us who have forgotten Lester was the fighter who lost his front four teeth and took a beating just two episodes ago (only a couple of days prior in actual time).  Mark Miller the other alternative had a broken nose, and was not cleared to fight.

Lester tells Dana White (President of the UFC) that he is willing to fight, and so what if he’s missing teeth, after all there only teeth right?  And Dan Henderson fights without his teeth all the time, right?  Dana loved the heart and attitude shown by Lester here, in his willingness to step back in the octagon after just a couple days removed from getting a pretty good beating.

The show eventually shifts to Faulkner who has all the physical tools, but lacks the mental toughness to be a real threat.  Apparently Faulkner is a professional fighter who can’t seem to keep his mouth-guard in his mouth due to his gag-reflex.  He has such a hard time keeping his mouthpiece in that he actually goes to a hypnotist to try to fix the problem through hypnosis.

Later on in the show Bisping sprayed water in Damarques Johnsons face for a “racist” comment that Johnson didn’t even say.  Cameron Dollar a couple of episodes ago (while Bisping was playing Henderson at tennis) said that Bisping was “whiter than a band-aid”?  Whatever the hell that’s suppose to mean.  But, nonetheless Bisping took offense and thought that Johnson was the one who had said it.  Bisping went to apologize to Johnson who had stormed out of the building after being squirted, and after approaching Johnson who told Bisping he needed a minute, Bisping returned like a little “puff”.  It appeared that Bisping was actually upset at Johnson for not letting him apologize right away.

The point is that Bisping was not shown in a very positive light after this event, and I am going to find it very difficult to cheer for him at all.

As far as strategy goes for the fight Henderson wants Lester to just throw a straight one-two combo, that’s it.  Bisping seems to just want Faulkner to keep his mouth-guard in.

Both fighters come out for round one, and Faulkner looks to be the aggressor, and looks much more fresh than Lester.  Faulkner connects on a couple of nice punches, and even scores a takedown.  Faulkner wins round one easily.

The bell rings for round two, and Lester comes out and is able to keep the fight standing and controls Faulkner in the clinch.  Lester also connects on some nice punches none of which are the straight one-tow combo that Henderson wanted him to throw.  During the second round Faulkner is noticeably fatigued, and at one point spit out his mouthpiece, Lester walks away winning round two.

With both fighters each winning a round that means only one thing right?  A sudden death one round battle, winner takes the victory.  But wait, whats this, Faulkners throat is too dry?  Faulkner quits while sitting on his stool between rounds?  Faulkner came on this show taking the opportunity away from all of his fellow countrymen that wanted to be on the Ultimate Fighter and then lets his country down by quitting?  Faulkner, a professional fighter can’t go three rounds?  Well believe it folks it happened, Faulkner did not come out for the third round.  As one person put it Lester out-hearted Faulkner.

Well this ties things up, both teams are now 4-4 and the teaser for next week has us guessing if teammates are going to have to fight teammates.  Until next time, keep reading.

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The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Episode 8: Jason Puts a “Dent” in the UK Record, Pierce Too Sick or Too Scared?

Posted in The Ultimate Fighter TV Show with tags , , , , , , , on May 29, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

Hello Ultimate Fighter Fans!  Sorry this wasn’t posted much sooner, like within the last two weeks.  My apologies.  Anyway, it really was kind of a boring episode anyways. Here’s what happened, or perhaps a lack of what happened.  This summary is going to be a little short, because I’m guessing most of you know what happened two weeks ago by now anyways.

The show started off with Jason Pierce being a very negative minded pessimist.  The show continued with Pierce being a negative minded pessimist, and ultimately ended with Pierce being a negative minded non-competitor.

There was much of the show dedicated to peoples dislike of Pierces attitude, ranging from his fellow teammates to even the coaches.  Also, there were four competitors left to fight.  Pierce was going to fight Faulkner, or Dent was going to fight Lawson.

The decision was made to have Dent fight Lawson. 

The first round was pretty good.  The pace was good, with Lawson controlling the round and winning it easily.  In the second round however Lawson was pretty gassed, and Dent was able to choke out Lawson for the victory.  Dana White (President of the UFC) said the victory was far, far, far from being impressive.

The real story was Jason Pierce who was asked by Dana White how he was feeling and if he felt up to fighting (Pierce was diagnosed with somekind of illness by the doctors).  Pierce was again very quiet with a negative attitude, and mentally wasn’t there.  Dana sensed this and told Pierce he wasn’t going to be fighting. 

On a personal note, I was actually angry with the guy because he was sporting top of the line Tapout gear the whole time, and he seemed to lack any heart or desire to fight.  I really didn’t feel that he deserved to be all decked out in Tapout gear when he was obviously quitting before he even officially fought on the show.

In summary, Dent won a very non-impressive victory over Lawson.  Look for Dent to be eliminated in his next fight, while we had at least a half an hour of watching probably the most negative and dejected person to ever be on the Ultimate Fighter.  Luckily, Dana saw that Pierce was bad for business and pulled him from his fight, to give another already beaten Welterweight a second chance.  But who?  We’ll have to wait and see until next week.

A Few Notes to My Readers:

Posted in Uncategorized on May 26, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

1. Feel free to check out my Top Ten Fighters, Top Five Light-Heavyweight, and Top Five Lightweight Fighters posts they have been updated with the results of UFC 98 in mind.

2.  I hope to have my own personal lines and preliminary predictions for UFC 99 up later this week, so look for that.  Also, Iwill try to find an article I read about betting on MMA and create a link to it for anyone thats interested in that sort of thing.

3.  I apologize that I haven’t had time to write up the latest Ultimate Fighter Episode, I will try to do that early Wednesday Morning, and I will try to have the new show written up right away after it airs.  Sorry for any inconveniences the delay may have caused anyone.

I appreciate everyone stopping by and I look forward to hearing from everyone  in the future. 

PS. Don’t be shy about leaving a comment!

UFC 98 Results

Posted in Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

We Have A New Champ! Hughes Survives Head-butt and Controversy and Upsets Mark UFC 98.

 

First, I would like to say to all of my readers, I actually had on OK night for predictions.  But, the prediction I blew was the Machida/Evans fight.  I really thought that Evans had the style to beat Machida.  Don’t worry though, I have no false reservations about my picks or the results, and I am ready to eat a big huge serving of CROW served up by Machida himself.

Lyoto Machida celebrates after becoming the Light Heavyweight Campion in the UFC

Lyoto Machida celebrates after becoming the Light Heavyweight Campion in the UFC

Rashad Evans     vs     Lyoto Machida

Rashad: BU+175 (36%), SB+165 (38%)  (5/13/09)

                   BU+150 (40%), SB+160 (38%)  (5/21/09)

Machida: BU-225 (69%), SB-205 (67%)  (5/13/09)

                     BU-200 (66%), SB-200 (66%)  (5/21/09)

Machida wins by knockout in the second round.

Machida was the favorite for this fight and with good reason.  Machida came out, waited patiently for a while for the Champ to engage, and then decided to formulate a little offense of his own.  Machida had a couple of very nice kicks in the first round and continued his record of never losing a round in the UFC by winning the first round.

Machida came out the second round and waited like a time bomb for the right opportunity to take Evans out.  Evans was taken down by Machida at one point but stood right back up.  Evans really only landed one nice body kick the whole fight.  About three minutes into the second round Machida put on a flurry and caught Evans with several clean blows to the jaw, but ultimately connected with a short left cross to put the Champ to sleep.

I had stated that Machida would not be able to knock Evans out, I was wrong, one serving of crow from Mr. Machida.  Oh, thank you Mr. Machida can I have some more?  I also said that Evans was going to be fast enough and athletic enough to catch Machida but, I was wrong.  Oh why Mr. Machida some more crow?  Thank you, you shouldn’t have Mr. Machida.  I also picked Evans to beat Machida by knockout, but I was wrong.  Oh, a third serving of crow? Why thank you Mr. Machida, oh, look its the biggest serving yet.

Ok, basically I expected Evans to come out and try and take Machida down at least once or twice before standing with Machida.  I thought Evans would want to keep Machida guessing as to what to defend: strikes or takedown.  Unfortunately, Evans didn’t attempt a single takedown.  I also anticipated a lot of level changing and long combinations from Evans to try and close the gap on Machida and get in close.  Evans decided that his bast chance of winning was to stay on the outside and wait for Machida to come in. 

I am not claiming to be a wiz kid when it comes to MMA or fighting, and I am certainly not any more knowledgeable than Greg Jackson (Evans trainer) when it comes to creating a gameplan, but I just felt like with the athleticism and wrestling background that Evans has, he had a real opportunity to take it to Machida.  To Machida’s credit, he has made it very difficult to figure out his style.  One can’t plot slowly in, looking for the big knockout like Thiago Silva did.  But, one can’t stay back and try and keep distance on Machida either.  Machida is too accurate of a striker and distance is Machidas advantage.

I overestimated Evans ability to close the gap on Machida, and I underestimated Machidas power and elusiveness.  I give all the credit to Machida, he fought a superb fight and won in a very convincing fashion.  I anticipate Machida holding onto this belt for some time to come.  Oh, OK, one more serving of crow for me just for good measure.

  

Matt Hughes     vs     Matt Serra

Hughes: BU-275 (73%), SB-290 (74%)  (5/13/09)

                   BU-275 (73%), SB-275 (73%)  (5/21/09)

Serra: BU+190(34%)  SB+230 (30%)  (5/13/09)

              BU+190 (34%) SB+215 (31%)  (5/21/09)

Hughes wins by unanimous decision after three rounds.

Well, I got this one right, despite near upset loss in the first round from a headbutt.  Serra and Hughes accidentally knocked heads in the very beginning of the first round, causing Hughes to basically get knocked out while standing, fortunately Serra couldn’t finish him.  Serra won the first round with pressure and strikes.

Hughes won the second and third round with superior wrestling and takedowns.  It was definitely a close fight, and the judges easily could have had a split decision.  In the end though it was a unanimous decision victory for Hughes.

 Just a quick note on Hughes.  Hughes to me looked a little slow and apprehensive on his feet.  I hope Hughes doesn’t fight anymore because I know he will fight a ranked competitor, and I think he will lose.  Hughes’ skills just aren’t well rounded enough to hang with the top of the division anymore.

Drew McFedries     vs     Xavier Foupa-Pokam

McFedries: SB+160 (38%)  (5/21/09)

Foupa-Pokam: SB-200 (66%)  (5/21/09)

McFedries wins by knockout in the first round.

Well, I kinda went back and forth with this fight, like I did for most of the fights on this card.  However, when I thought about it, it sounded like Foupa-Pokam wanted to stand with McFedries and that is never a good gameplan.  McFedries proved his power by blasting Foupa-Pokam several times before the ref stepped in to stop it.

 

Brock Larson     vs     Mike Pyle

Larson: SB-290 (74%)  (5/21/09)

Pyle:

Larson wins by submission in the first round.

Man o’ man, Pyle really brought it.  Pyle went for several very nice, and very close submission attempts of his own right away in the first round.  The two fighters had a very quick and smart grappling match on the mat before Larson was able to come away with the submission victory.

 

Dan Miller    vs     Chael Sonnen

Sonnen: SB+125 (44%)  (5/21/09)

Miller: SB-155 (61%)  (5/21/09)

Sonnen wins by unanimous decision after three rounds.

Well, I have a little more crow on my plate after this one.  I knew Sonnen was the better wrestler, but I thought Miller would be able to keep the fight standing where he is better on his feet.  Sonnen was able to take Miller down with relative ease, and proceeded to ground and pound Miller for three rounds.  I was surprised that Miller wasn’t more effective from his guard. 

I’m really not too disappointed with this pick, it was a fight to see where Miller ranks in the UFC, Sonnen was a good test and Miller just wasn’t up to the challenge. 

 

Sean Sherk     vs     Frank Edgar

Sherk: BU-275 (73%) SB-295 (74%)  (5/13/09)

               BU-300 (75%) SB-365 (78%)  (5/21/09)

Edgar: BU+190 (34%) SB+235(30%)  (5/13/09)

                BU+200 (33%) SB+285 (26%)  (5/21/09)

Edgar wins by unanimous decision after three rounds.

Edgar had the better boxing skills  for this fight.  Edgar moved around well, and had real crisp strikes.  I knew Edgar could win this fight if it stayed standing, the only problem was I thought Sherk would at least go for a couple of takedowns, and score some points on the judges scorecard.  This fight is a frustrating loss, because Sherk has the ability to win the fight consistently by simply taking Edgar down (which he would be able to do) and ground and pounding him.  However, Sherk chose to stand and lose two straight rounds before trying something else.  My fear was realized, Sherk was more concerned about winning by knockout/strikes than he was about just winning.

Nonetheless, I thought it could have been a split decision, and with the odds where they were, it really was hard not to throw some money down on Edgar.  Another fight that was tough to predict.

 

Pat Barry     vs     Tim Hague

Barry: BU-350 (77%) (5/13/09)

               BU-330 (77%) SB-500 (83%)  (5/21/09)

Hague: BU+225 (31%)  (5/13/09)

                 BU+220 (31%) SB+300 (25%)  (5/21/09)

Hague wins by submission in the first round.

Well, if anyone read my predictions, they would know that I really didn’t want to chose this one.  I just had a hard time seeing why Barry was such a favorite. Although he was very close to knocking out Hague in the beginning of the first round.  But, Hague kept his wits about him, took Barry down and submitted him.

Another lose on my record, but yet another one that I can live with.

 

Phillipe Nover     vs     Kyle Bradley

Nover: BU-400 (80%) SB-365 (78%)  (5/13/09)

                BU-330 (77%) SB-500 (83%)  (5/21/09)

Bradley: BU+250 (29%) SB+285 (26%)  (5/13/09)

                   BU+220 (31%) SB+300 (25%)  (5/21/09)

Bradley wins by referee stoppage in the first round.

I didn’t see this fight, but apparently referee Yves Lavigne had a very, very poor stoppage of the fight.  He stopped the fight but Nover was never hurt.  Which makes it worse for Lavigne is that apparently replay shows that it was indeed a very poor stoppage.

Another loss for me, but it sounds like it wasn’t a very legit fight, so once again this one doesn’t bother me. (Other than poor refereeing).

 

Krzysztof Soszynski   vs     Andre Gusmao

Soszynski: SB+125 (44%)  (5/21/09)

Gusmao: SB-155 (61%)  (5/21/09)

Soszynski wins by knockout in the first round.

Gusmao came out strong, and really looked to be the better fighter for the first part of the fight.  However, Soszynski caught Gusmao right on the chin with a real short and crisp right hand.  Once again, Gusmao is a good fighter, and better than what he has shown in his first two fights in the UFC.  Soszynski is hot right now, he has confidence, looks healhty, has a well rounded fight game, I would hate to be Soszynskis next opponent.

Back in the win column for me.

  

Dave Kaplan     vs     George Roop

Kaplan: BU+110 (48%)  (5/13/09)

                 BU+110 (48%) SB+135 (43%)  (5/21/09)

Roop: BU-150 (60%)  (5/13/09)

              BU-150 (60%) SB-165 (62%)  (5/21/09)

Roop wins by split decision after three rounds.

Well, I really thought that Roop would have had an easier time with Kaplan.  Roop still got the win, but I have to give Kaplan a lot of credit, he fought hard and showed some real heart.

Roop got me a win here, barely, but I will take it.

 

My prediction results and data for UFC 98:

 My Record: 6/11                                                

Money Picks: 3/4

Favorites Record: 4/11 (amazing, there were a lot of upsets for this one)

I picked the favorite to win 7/11

 

Running Totals Updated

My Record: 16/23  70%

Money Picks:  7/9 78%

Favorites Record (since UFC 97): 11/23  48%

UFC 98: Evans vs Machida (5/23/09) (Predictions)

Posted in Predictions with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

Note: The odds listed are from www.betus.com (BU) and www.sportsbook.com (SB), they were listed as of 5/21/09.  Also, I will break down the line into percentages for everyone.  The percentage tells how often they would win the fight.  P.S. I know the percentages don’t always add to 100, that’s because thats the sportsbooks take, it’s just the way they do it.

 

Rashad Evans^$                               Lyoto Machida

rashad-evans1      vs       lyoto-machida

Rashad: BU+175 (36%), SB+165 (38%)  (5/13/09)

                   BU+150 (40%), SB+160 (38%)  (5/21/09)

Machida: BU-225 (69%), SB-205 (67%)  (5/13/09)

                     BU-200 (66%), SB-200 (66%)  (5/21/09)

 First, I apologize for not having this piece posted sooner, but hopefully a week before the fight works.  I believe and am willing to put money on Rashad Evans winning this fight.  There are several factors that brought me to this conclusion, some of which are speed, athleticism, and style.

I think that Evans has the perfect style and pedigree to beat the undefeated Machida.  I know that Machida has won every fight so far in the UFC, and that he has never lost a round in the UFC, but all good things must come to an end, and Machidas good win streak is going to end sooner than Evans.

Rashad was a division one wrestler for Michigan State University before he started in MMA.  I think it is safe to say that Evans is a better wrestler than Machida.  Also, I think that Evans is a better athlete in general, and quicker too.  Evans is in my opinion the quickest Light-heavyweight in the division.  I would expect Rashad to be able to cut off the angle, use his quick shot on Machida and take Machida down.  Machida has very good footwork, but isn’t as quick as Rashad.  In order for Rashad to win this fight he needs to take Machida down, and ground and pound him a little, rattle his cage a little bit.  It will not only score points on the judges score cards, but it will test Machidas resolve, which has never really been tested yet.  We still don’t know if Machida can take a good shot, or how tough he really is.

Machida likes to use his footwork and karate style to win his matches.  Machidas a counter-striker who prides himself on hitting without getting hit.  But, I don’t think Machida will knock Evans out.  Evans fought in the heavyweight division on the Ultimate Fighter tv show, and during that show he took some pretty clean shots from heavyweights and was never knocked out. 

 Basically, Machida isn’t going to knock out Evans which is probably the best way for him to win.  Evans is going to be quick enough to close the distance and take Machida down, look for Evans to take Machida down more than Machidataking Evans down.  Evans has a good wrestling background, and good ground and pound.  Evans is going to be able to control where the fight takes place, because Machida won’t be athletic enough to take Rashad down and score points.  Evans is going to either knockout Machida on the ground or possibly standing (Evans has very good punching power), or the fight will go to decision which Rashad will win because of the points he’ll score with his takedowns.

Lastly, lets not forget Rashad has never lost in the UFC either.  Yeah, he has had a lot of close calls (a draw and a couple of split-decisions) but Rashad has improved as a fighter every single time he has fought in the octagon.  If Rashad we’re to go back and re-fight those opponents now, I think he would fair much better.  Rashad has been in many close fights and he always comes out on top, the man knows how to win, the guy is simply a winner.

MONEY BET ($)

With Rashad being a Las Vegas underdog, and the reasons I explained above, how could one not want to bet on this.  Either way Evans is getting slighted by the odds.  I could see Evans being like +120 but +175? come on, gotta take those odds.

 

Added 5/21/09

I am still going with Evans,here are some keys to victory.

1. Don’t fall behind the judges scorecard early.  If Evans can keep the fight close and win the first and/or second rounds he might make Machida sweat a little. 

2.  Evans needs to be able to take Machida down, he doesn’t even have to control Machida on the ground, just score takedowns thereby scoring points on the judges scorecard.

3.  Don’t get over anxious.  Machida is a master at moving out of the way and disengaging and countering.  Evans has to keep his cool and stick to his gameplan especially in the first part of the fight.

4.  Don’t go straight in.  Thiago Siva showed us all what happens to a fighter who plots straight ahead towards Machida.  For those of us who don’t know what happend Silva got his face knocked off.  Evans needs to throw combinations, and change levels frequently, keep Machida guessing.

5.  Keep the pressure on Machida.  Evans is a superior athlete and wrestler than Machida, if he can close the distance and tie up Machida, he stands a real good chance of making Machida worry.  We have yet to see Machida in real trouble because no one has been able to keep constant pressure on him.

Evans is more than capable of following this gameplan.  As I stated earlier, Evans is going to be too fast, and to good of a wrestler for Machida to stay away from.  Evans, if your listening, win this one and show the MMA world you’re no joke.

 

Matt Hughes^$     vs     Matt Serra

Hughes: BU-275 (73%), SB-290 (74%)  (5/13/09)

                   BU-275 (73%), SB-275 (73%)  (5/21/09)

Serra: BU+190(34%)  SB+230 (30%)  (5/13/09)

              BU+190 (34%) SB+215 (31%)  (5/21/09)

Hughes is a pretty good lock for this fight.  Both fighters are about the same age, so both of their primes (which have passed) were around the same time.  In Hughes’ prime he was champ and virtually unbeatable.  Serra was always a pretty good fighter, but was never at the same level as Hughes.

Don’t count Serra out though, he did beat Georges St.Pierre as a huge underdog.  Serra does have heart, and he will show up to fight.  With that said though, Hughes has heart, and I know Hughes is looking forward to this fight too. 

Basically the best Matt Serra wouldn’t usually beat the best Matt Hughes.  Hughes for the win, either by good ol’ fashioned ground and pound, or submission.  Yeah, I know Serra is a BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) Black belt, but Hughes has some pretty good BJJ too.  Hughes might over-power or daze Serra and then slap a submission on him.  Go Hughes.

MONEY BET ($)

I think Hughes wins this fight about 75% of the time too, the odds are reasonable.

 

Added 5/21/09

Still happy with this pick.

 

Drew McFedries*     vs     Xavier Foupa-Pokam

McFedries: SB+160 (38%)  (5/21/09)

Foupa-Pokam: SB-200 (66%)  (5/21/09)

Well, I don’t really know who to go with on this one.  Las Vegas odds haven’t been released yet, but I think McFedries will be the slight favorite.  He has more experience in the UFC, with a couple of wins and some losses.  The losses have come to some very competitive opponents, and his wins have come against some OK opponents.  I don’t know if Xavier is a good or OK opponent, but he did lose his UFC debut by decision.  I expect McFedries to win.

 

Added 5/21/09

Well, I was wrong, McFedries is the underdog in this one but a substantial margin.  Apparently MdFedries is absolutely atrocious on the ground, but has one punch knockout power.  Foupa-Pokham on the other hand is slightly more versed on the ground, quicker and a good striker himself.  McFedries always has that punchers chance though, and he has lost his last two fights in the UFC, so is he due or not? Thats the real question.  I’m going to change this pick and goFoupa-Pokham by submission.

 

Updated 5/22/09

OK readers, I hate to do this to you, but I have been struggling with this match ever since it was released.  I slept on it, and my gut is telling me to stay with McFedries, my initial pick.  So, one day before fight time, I am going to switch this pick back to McFedries who will win by knockout.  I think yesterday I was just surprised to see him come out as the underdog, but I am ok with it.  Go McFedries.

 

Brock Larson*     vs     Mike Pyle

Larson: SB-290 (74%)  (5/21/09)

Pyle:

I saw Chris Wilsons last fight against John Howard which he lost by split decision.  However, I wasn’t too impressed.  I haven’t seen Larson fight, but everything I read is very positive.  Two of his losses have come to quality opponents (I don’t know who is first loss was to) in Carlos Condit, and John Fitch.  Wilson also has a loss to John Fitch, and I think that Wilson would probably lose to Condit too.

My pick is for Larson, but don’t ask me how or when, this could go to decision, be a submission, or even a knockout.

 

Added 5/21/09

Still sounds good to me.

 

Added 5/23/09

Well Mike Pyle has replaced Chris Wilson as of Friday 5/23/09.  My pick is still for Larson, however I don’t really know very much about Pyle. 

 

Dan Miller*    vs     Chael Sonnen

Sonnen: SB+125 (44%)  (5/21/09)

Miller: SB-155 (61%)  (5/21/09)

Another tough fight to pick.  I haven’t seen either one fight yet, but I think Sonnen might have the edge.  Miller is a tough and good up and coming fighter in the UFC, but has yet to fight any real talent in the UFC.  Sonnen on the other hand has more experience, and has faced some better competition than Miller.  This is really a good test for Miller Sonnen is a fighter from the next level up, but I don’t know if Miller is ready or capable of moving up a level.  Las Vegas odds will favor Sonnen I think, but this fight is a good measuring stick for Miller more than Sonnen.  Expect Miller to bring it, and achieve a possible upset.

 

Added 5/21/09

Well, I was wrong, Miller is the favorite for the fight.  Also, I have seen a Sonnen fight now, I saw where he fought Paulo Filho.  He did win the fight, but in less than spectacular fashion.  He is a good wrestler, but his standup is lacking.  Sonnen is still going to be a tough test for Miller, and yes, I am going to change my pick.  I was not impresed with the Filho fight, and I expect Miller being more than capable of taking Sonnen down.

Sean Sherk*     vs     Frank Edgar

Sherk: BU-275 (73%) SB-295 (74%)  (5/13/09)

               BU-300 (75%) SB-365 (78%)  (5/21/09)

Edgar: BU+190 (34%) SB+235(30%)  (5/13/09)

                BU+200 (33%) SB+285 (26%)  (5/21/09)

Sherk has great wrestling, but I have yet to see much more than that.  He enjoys ground and pound, but like some wrestlers I think he feels he needs to get that big knockout under his belt.  Sherk has been working his boxing, and it’s pretty good, but he has yet to finish anybody with it, so as of right now, I don’t think too much of it. 

The two both have wins over Tyson Griffin, and Hermes Franca by decision.  Sherk has losses to Matt Hughes, BJ Penn and Georges St.Pierre all of whom are of the highest level.  Edgars only loss has come to Gray Maynard, who many feel could be competing for the lightweight title in the future. 

I think that experience is whats going to win this fight, and Sherk simply has more of it.  I am willing to bet this will be mostly fought on the mat, and that it will go to decision.  However, with that said these may be two ex-wrestlers who want to prove themselves on their feet, so there is a slight chance it might stay standing. Look for Sherk to win, possibly even by Split-decision, I think it will be that close.

 

Added 5/21/09

Well, Sherk is climbing as a favorite.  Sherk is and should be the favorite, but I just don’t see him being that clear cut of one.  This could definatley be a good fight to throw down a couple dollars on Edgar for an upset.

 

Pat Barry     vs     Tim Hague

Barry: BU-350 (77%) (5/13/09)

               BU-330 (77%) SB-500 (83%)  (5/21/09)

Hague: BU+225 (31%)  (5/13/09)

                 BU+220 (31%) SB+300 (25%)  (5/21/09)

I haven’t had the opportunity to see either of these guys fight, but I will go with Vegas on this one.  Barry has a win in his only UFC appearance, against Dan Evensen, while Hague has yet to fight in the octagon.  Hague’s measureables that they have on his bio on the UFC website are impressive to read.  He is 6’4” and weighs 265, while Barry is 5’11” at 235.  Barry is 4-0 while Hague is 9-1.  By reading these stats, one might think Hague should be the favorite.  Barry is from the US and Hague is from Canada, maybe he is getting that foreign fighter disrespect, and maybe just isn’t as popular as Hague in the US so he’s the underdog.  I guess Vegas knows something I don’t though.  I am not picking this one yet, I want to see the weigh-ins.

 

Added 5/21/09

Man, Barry is a heavy favorite in this fight still.  I haven’t seen either one ever fight, and with the shear size advantage of Hague its still hard to believe Barry can be such a favorite.  I read an article that said that Barry although small has speed and power like (not the same as) Mike Tyson had.  Barry has very good punching power for the division.  I’m still gonna wait for the weigh ins.

 

Added 5/23/09

Ok, because I have to make a pick I will go with Barry, apparently he has very good leg kicks and will be able to chop the taller Hague down.  Hague has said that he plans to slug it out with Barry, and that’s Barry’s specialty.  Barry by knockout.

 

Phillipe Nover*     vs     Kyle Bradley

Nover: BU-400 (80%) SB-365 (78%)  (5/13/09)

                BU-330 (77%) SB-500 (83%)  (5/21/09)

Bradley: BU+250 (29%) SB+285 (26%)  (5/13/09)

                   BU+220 (31%) SB+300 (25%)  (5/21/09)

Well, one sportsbook has Nover as an extreme favorite, another has it closer.  Nover is definitely the favorite, but probably not by as much as everyone thinks. 

Nover was featured on The Ultimate Fighter tv show, and Dana White (the President of the UFC) made a very flattering comparison between Nover and Georges St.Pierre.  I think this has created over-hype for Nover.  Nover is a good fighter, no doubt about it, but he did lose in the finale of the show. 

Bradley has lost his only two UFC fights, but they were to two very respectable opponents in Chris Lytle, and Joe Lauzon.  I think Nover would lose to both of these fighters as well.  This fight is definitely a good litmus test for Nover.

I think Nover will still get the win, but I would say he wins about 60-65% of the time in this fight.  Also, I believe the UFC wants Nover to win, so they gave him a matchup that he should win.

 

Added 5/21/09

Well, Nover went up in one sportsbook and down in the other.  Perhaps Nover does win this fight more than 60-65% of the time, but no more than 70%.  I still think the sportsbooks have him rated too highly.  But, he will still win this fight.

 

 

 

Krzysztof Soszynski*$   vs     Andre Gusmao

Soszynski: SB+125 (44%)  (5/21/09)

Gusmao: SB-155 (61%)  (5/21/09)

 I am going to refer to Soszynski as KS his name is too big of a pain in the you know what to spell.  KS is going to win this one.  KS is a very good fighter, and has gotten better since coming off the Ultimate Fighter TV show.  He lost during the show, but my understanding is that he was hurt.  KS has since then had two very impressive performances in the UFC.  KS has fought very recently though, but he did not take much punishment (if any) and unless there was an injury that we don’t know about he should  be in good health.

Gusmao lost in his UFC debut, but I bet he is a better fighter than some might give him credit for.  His loss came to a very athletic and exciting fighter in Jon Jones.  I know Gusmao is looking to get things on the right track in the UFC, and KS is a good test for that.  Gusmao definitely has a good chance against KS.  However, KS has just been on fire lately and I just don’t see Gusmao taking it.

 

Below was Added 5/21/09

I wrote the upper part before the odds were released, Guamao is actually the favorite to win this fight.  I still stick by what I have written though, I think that KS will still win, and with him being the underdog this has now turned into a $bet.  GO KS.

 

Dave Kaplan     vs     George Roop^$

Kaplan: BU+110 (48%)  (5/13/09)

                 BU+110 (48%) SB+135 (43%)  (5/21/09)

Roop: BU-150 (60%)  (5/13/09)

              BU-150 (60%) SB-165 (62%)  (5/21/09)

Both of these fighters were on the Ultimate Fighter TV show, Roop was surprisingly resilient, while Kaplan was surprisingly over-confident.  Roop has a long frame and if he has developed since the show should beat Kaplan by decision.  Roop doesn’t have any knockout power, and I don’t recall how good his ground game is.  Kaplan however thinks he has an iron chin, and he wants to go out there and bang.  Also, Kaplan is very short for the division and really should be fighting as at 145lbs.  I look for Roop to use his reach, and take Kaplan down and get the W in less than spectacular fashion.

MONEY BET ($)

I think this is a good bet, personally I see Roop winning this fight about 65-70% of the time.  With the odds given, I would bet on Roop.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Episode 7: Henderson the Tennis Pro? Pearson Puts a Pounding on Witson

Posted in The Ultimate Fighter TV Show with tags , , , , , , , on May 14, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

I thought last week that we were going to get two fights this episode, but instead we got one fight and a tennis match?  This week featured the battle of the coaches in a tennis match, while Ross Pearson faced off against Richie Whitson.

The show started off with team UK celebrating their most recent victory, and a clip of Bisping telling the viewers how happy he is that Team UK is in the lead.  The show then jumps right into informing us that Richie Whitson has some kind of bacterial infection by his mouth.  Some cast members give him crap about it being herpes, but Richie insists its not herpes.  Richies recent infection causes Jason Pierce to go around the entire house and disinfect it. 

The show moves forward by reminding us that David Faulkner and Jason Pierce (who are now friends) will have to fight each other.  They are the last two fighters in the welterweight division that have to fight.  Pierce expresses his displeasure with the idea of having to fight a friend, while his coaches try telling him that he has a negative attitude and that he needs to train himself mentally as well as physically.  Pierce responds to this advice in turn by walking out and leaving the gym.  Also, at one point Jason Dent informs Pierce that his USA Teammates are talking trash behind his back, further dividing an already incohesive Team USA.

The show shifted gears then and showed us some training techniques used by Team UK.  One of the techniques was to hit a giant tire using a sledge hammer (it builds core strength).  However after Dean Amasinger finds a way to hit himself with the hammer, and Faulkner shows he can’t hit the broad side of a tractor tire with a hammer, Bisping decided to revert back to more traditional methods of training by lifting weights.

Now the show moves into one of the most entertaining parts of the season, the battle of the coaches.  Every season so far, Dana White (president of the UFC) shows up and has the coaches compete head to head in some kind of random game or sport.  This season we got tennis.  Bisping stated he has never played tennis and it showed, he had trouble hitting the ball with the wide side of the racket.  Henderson however seemed to be a little more coordinated and seemed to pick up the sport a little quicker.  Henderson jumped out to a big lead initially, but at one point Bisping came back (a little).  The whole time the coaches played the US fighters were jawing with and taunting Bisping much to his displeasure.  In the end Henderson won 6 matches to 2, giving each one of his fighters a $1500 prize from Dana White.

After the delights of the coaches dual came the fight announcement.  Bisping picked Ross Pearson to fight Richie Whitson.  Pearson is regarded by the cast members as a fierce competitor and a pitbull in the ring.  Although Whitson in his own right is referred to as scrappy and tough.  Dana White even said he wasn’t going to give a prediction on the fight because it could go either way.  Both fighters consider themselves strikers, and both plan to stand and strike during the fight.  Pearsons plan was to strike and move, while Richies plan was to stay in tight and bang.

Fight time arrives, and Richies bacterial infection is all but gone, and he is cleared to fight.  The two fighters came out in round one and exchanged some punches initially, and then clinched by the cage.  Pearson took Richie down a couple of times, but Richie kept getting back up.  However, at one point Pearson kneed Richie in the head while Richie still had a knee on the mat, which is a violation of the rules, and Pearson was deducted one point for the infraction.  Richie took his time to regroup, but he didn’t really need to.  Pearson came out after the break, took Richie down, and got his back.  Richie fought off an initial attempt for a choke, but ended up sacrificing an arm to an armbar.  Richie was forced to tap, before the first round was able to come to a close.

With Pearsons victory, this moves Team UK ahead by two fights, making it Team UK 4 to Team USA 2.  We still have four fighters left to fight: Jason Dent and Jeff Lawson in the lightweight division and David Faulkner and Jason Pierce in the welterweight division.  I will see all of you TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) fans next week.

Who’s the Best Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the UFC, St.Pierre or Silva?

Posted in The Fight Forum with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2009 by Maxwell Destree
Geroges "Rush" St.Pierre

Geroges "Rush" St.Pierre

                               OR

 

Anderson "The Spider" Silva

Anderson "The Spider" Silva

 I will get things started off here.  Personally, I think that Anderson Silva is probably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.  I think that it’s almost a toss-up between Silva and Georges St.Pierre, with a slight edge going to Silva. 

Both of their next fights will give us a better understanding about where these fighters are at, and how they would match up against each other.  St.Pierre is going to be fighting Thiago Alves, while Silva is scheduled to fight Forrest Griffin.

St. Pierre is an outstanding fighter, but has yet to show me how good he is against a true striker.  When St.Pierre lost to and then beat Matt Hughes the first time, Hughes was the champion, but MMA still wasn’t where it is even today.  Hughes was a great champion for his time, but I think that Hughes stopped developing as a fighter right around the time St.Pierre beat him for the first time.  The second time St.Pierre beat Hughes St.Pierre showed then that he was in another league above Hughes.

St.Pierre then lost to Matt Serra, who just got plain lucky in the upset win of the year.  St.Pierre avenged the loss in a dominant performance later, to regain the Welterweight title.  I think most people would agree that St.Pierre is several steps above Serra in the fight game, despite an unfortunate loss.

St.Pierre has beaten two guys that are very impressive young fighters in Josh Koscheck and John Fitch.  Both of these fighters are ex-collegiate wrestling champs, yet St.Pierre out-wrestled both of them.  However, one of the strikes that I hold against St.Pierre is that he couldn’t finish either one of them.  I don’t think St.Pierre has very good knock-out power in his hands.  One of the very, very few arguable weaknesses of St.Pierre.

Thiago Alves poses a tough fight for St.Pierre because he is stronger than St.Pierre, and a better all around athlete than any of the other fighters St.Pierre has faced.  However, I still think that St.Pierre will win, but it will be interesting to see how.  My guess is by decision, but if St.Pierre can knock out Alves St.Pierre could jump to the top of my board as best pound-for-poundfighter in the UFC.

Anderson Silva also has a tough fight coming up as well.  Forrest Griffin is no joke, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Griffin will bring it to Silva, but I look for Silva to knock out Griffin in the first or early second round.  If Silva doesn’t knock out or submit Griffin in convincing fashion, I think Silva will drop out of the pound-for-pound best fighter spot.

Silva has fought some tough opponents, and finished them all convincingly with the exception of his last two fights.  Patrick Cote blew out his knee during his fight with Silva, so Silva won by default, despite not looking impressive during the fight.  Silvas last fight was probably the most boring fight I have ever seen in my life.  Silva just did not bring it, he had opportunities to finish the fight yet never did.  Silva needs to finish Griffin in order to be considered the pound-for-pound best.

When looking at who St.Pierre and Silva have beaten it’s pretty hard to decide which fighter has fought tougher opponents. St.Pierre is a better wrestler than Silva, and has beaten very good wrestlers with relative ease (Fitch, Koscheck, Hughes).  Silva might not have fared so well against these fighters because it is arguable that Silvas weakness is his wrestling.  Dan Henderson showed us that despite ultimately losing to Silva.

On the other hand, Silva has beaten some very good strikers that would probably have given St.Pierre some trouble (ie.Franklin, Cote, Marquardt).  St.Pierre was knocked out by Serra, who has power but not anything like the fighters mentioned.

 I think St.Pierre is the better fighter when fighting an opponent who specializes in takedowns, and ground and pound.  But, Silva is better fighting opponents who are good strikers and pretty good on the ground.  I mean lets face it, Hughes, Serra, and to a degree Koscheck and Fitch aren’t known for their striking first.

Alright, back to the original question who is the better fighter?  Or who would win in a fight between Silva and St.Pierre?  As I already said…Silva.

Silva would win because I think he has proven to have a better all around game.  He has knocked people out in both the Middleweight division and the Light-heavyweight division, and I don’t think St.Pierre could do that (in his division and the one above respectfully).   St.Pierre would have beaten all the people that Silva has beaten and vice versa, but I don’t think St.Pierre could have done it as convincingly.

Also, as I said earlier, St.Pierre is a better wrestler than Silva. But, Silva showed that he can scramble and hold his own even with one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters in the world in Thales Leites.  Plus, I can’t see St.Pierre trying to submit Silva, I see St.Pierre ground and pounding on him. 

Ultimately that’s why I see Silva winning this fight.  He may not be able to stop all of St.Pierres takedowns, but I think he could at least minimize the damage he would take on the ground, and I don’t think St.Pierre would be able to submit him.  When Silva gets the fight back to his feet, I see him with an advantage in striking.  Silva is just fast enough, and too accurate of a striker for St.Pierre.  I would expect Silva to knock St.Pierre out. 

The only way St. Pierre wins is if he gets Silva down, and can keep him down for every round.  Really Ionly see Silva winning the fight about 60 percent of the time.  But that’s good enough to make him the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC in my book.

 

Please share your comments, who do you think would win?