Archive for Lyoto Machida

UFC 104: Machida vs Rua (10/24/2009)

Posted in Fight Cards with tags , , , , , , , on August 3, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

From: The Staples Center, Los Angeles CA

*Fights are rumored, not official, open to changes.

 

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida     vs     Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

Shane Carwin     vs     Cain Velasquez

Yushin Okami     vs     Chael Sonnen

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson     vs     Yoshiyuki Yoshida

Ryan “Darth” Bader     vs     Eric “Red” Schafer

Chase Gormley     vs     Ben Rothwell

Rob Kimmons     vs     Jorge Rivera

Patrick “HD” Barry     vs     Antoni Hardonk

Razak Al-Hassan     vs     Kyle Kingsbury         

 

(Personal Note for Author: need to add fight names for some fighters.)

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.

My Top Ten: Fighters In the UFC

Posted in Top Ten Fighters in the UFC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

1. Anderson “The Spider” Silva     anderson-silva-2

Yes, even with the way Silva performed in his last fight against Leites I still think that he’s the pound for pound best fighter in the UFC.  He showed us against Leites that he has the capability to neutralize a world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, and that he himself has an impressive ground game.  Most people would agree that he is the best pure striker in the UFC.  He has a deadly combination of power and accuracy. 

If and when Georges St.Pierre and Silva fight I think it will be a very good and agressive fight, but I feel that Silva is a superior striker.  He isn’t necessarily better on the ground, but if he is at least equal to St.Pierre then he should be able to cancel that aspect of his game and achieve victory through striking.

(With that said St.Pierre is a very, very close second) 

2. Georges “Rush” St.Pierre     georges-stpierre1

St.Pierre is personally my favorite fighter, if St.Pierre and Silva fight I will be pulling for St.Pierre all the way.  St.Pierre is the best athlete in the UFC.  St.Piere could be phenominal at any sport that he chooses.  But, it’s not just pure athleticism which puts St.Pierre at number two, it’s his ability to continuosly analyze his own fight game and to improve in areas that could be considered a weakness (if they exist). 

St.Pierre has great conditioning, very good striking, good takedowns and wrestling, and an inate ability to pass peoples guard.  He does not have as much power in his striking as Silva, and isn’t quite as accurate either. 

If St.Pierre and Silva fought, Silva would probably win by knockout.  However, St.Pierre is definately good enough to take Silva down, and probably good enough to pass Silva’s guard.  So, the real question then is could St.Pierre survive long enough to win on the scorecards with takedowns, or would he be able to ground and pound Silva into submission.  Personally, and unfortunately I think Silva would knockout St.Pierre in the first or second round.

Finally, St.Pierre is a young fighter still, and in a couple of years will enjoy a long stay as the best fighter in the UFC.

3. Lyoto “The Dragon” MachidaLyoto Machida 3

After Machidas title fight against Rashad Evans where he dominated the fight before ultimately knocking the ex-champ out cold how could Machida not sky-rocket this chart.  Machida has an undefeated record in MMA, along with and impressive record of never losing a round in any of his 7 UFC fights.  Not to mention, Machida holds victories over the likes of Rich Franklin, BJ Penn and Stephan Bonner.  Machida put on a display of accuracy, footwork and elusiveness that would make the movie legend Bruce Lee proud.  Only, the unbelievable thing is that Machida is fighting real, world class fighters who have been training for the majority of their lives, and he still manages to make them look like amateurs when in the same ring as him.

The fight against Evans showed that Machidas style is no fluke, and he is going to be one of the best fighters in the UFC for a long time to come. 

4. Kenny “Kenflo” Florian     kenny-florian

Placing Florian in the number three spot is probably a surprise to many of you.  Some of you might point to losses to Diego Sanchez and Sean Sherk as reasons why he doesn’t belong here.  Well, my answer to you is that Florian has made such strides with his fight game since his loss to Sherk, and has beaten his opponents so convincingly that I find it hard not to put him here.

Remember that Florian lost to Sanchez as a Welterweight, and when he fought Sherk he was fresh off of the Ultimate Fighter tv show.  If Florian were to fight either of those fighters today he would win.

Florian has improved his striking, it looks smooth and crisp, he has improved his jiu-jitsu, and Florian is possibly one of the best gameplanners in the UFC.  Florian always has a fight strategy that gives him an advantage over his opponents. 

Lastly, I know Florian is placed above of BJ Penn, but when they fight at UFC 101 you will all understand why.

5. BJ Penn     bj-penn-2

Penn in my opinion is possibly over-rated at this spot.  He is definately a top ten fighter, but maybe not as high as number four.  Penn has great jiu-jitsu, and like Joe Rogan likes to point out every fight that Penn is in, he has great dexterity in his limbs.  Penn has good striking, and heavy hands, and has said that he is re-dedicated himself to MMA.

But, when I watch Penn he seems to lack the true “it” factor, or true desire and passion for fighting.  I may be wrong, but it seems to me that Penn found that he was naturally very good at fighting, so he works hard, puts the time in the gym and expects to be the best.  Penn has had cardio problems in the past, and has lost to some of the other top fighters in other weight classes.  I guess I can’t put my finger directly on it, but Penn is missing that last intangible that would truly make him great.  Look for Florian to win at UFC 101.

6. “Sugar” Rashad Evans     Rashad Evans

Evans is a guy that I think flies under a lot of peoples radar.  Evans has great hand speed and punching power, and is an under-rated athlete.  He has collegiate level wrestling experience, so he is good at taking people to the mat, as well as stopping other fighters from taking him to the mat.  Evans has a good chin, and has the ability to grind fights out and win even when he might not be performing at his best.

Evans came into the UFC by winning the Ultimate Fighter tv show and he did it as an undersized Heavyweight.  He took some serious shots on that show and managed to beat those guys.  Whatever it is Evans wins, he hasn’t lost yet.  Granted sometimes it might not be pretty, but the man is a winner, and I expect him to move up this board in the future.

7. Quentin “Rampage” Jackson     quentin-jackson

Jackson is tough to place, he really isn’t known for any jiu-jitsu which makes it difficult to rank him this high.  But, he has a very good stand up game, and in my opinion is probably one of the more intimidating fighters the UFC has.  This man is an Ass Kicker, that’s all he does, he kicks ass.  He has some impressive wins as of late, over Keith Jardine, Wanderlei Silva, and Dan Henderson.

However, because of Jacksons fighting style I don’t ever really see him moving up this chart because there are too many fighters that are more complete fighters than Jackson.

 8. Frank Mir     frank-mir

Ok, it might surprise some that Mir is this high on the list, but if you look at his fight game, it’s pretty impressive.  He is a very good striker, and possibly the best ground fighter at Heavyweight.  This begs the question that if he is this good as a Heavyweight he would probably only be faster, and quicker as a lighter fighter.  I think Mir is definately deserving of this spot, and with a win over one or two more opponents will probably move up this board.

 

9. Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves     thiago-alves-2

Alves is on a good run lately, and I would hate to have to fight him next.  Sorry St.Pierre but Alves has been on a tear.  Alves has had impressive wins over Karo Parisyan,Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck.  He is young athletic and fights hard.  It’s scary to think that he still has a long career in front of him, and that he will develop even more in the future.  I expect Alves to clime this chart over time, and to have more than one good battle with St.Pierre before thier careers are done.

10. Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez     diego-sanchez-2

Sanchez is probably under-rated by many people right now, but you have to take into account his performance at Welterweight, and the fact that he is now fighting at a better weight for him.  Sanchez has a very good ground game, and has some good power in his hands.  Sanchez could use some cleaner striking, he still just doesn’t seem smooth, but the man has tremendous heart and is a great competitor. 

I think that Sanchez will take out Guida in his next fight, and will probably beat the next guy in front of him until he faces the champ at Lightweight.  I think that the Lightweight division is a good division for Sanchez to find success, and that he can be competitive against Penn and Florian.  I expect Sanchez will move up this list and give Penn and Florian a run for their money before too long.

My Top Five: Light-Heavyweight Fighters In the UFC

Posted in Top Five Fighters in Each UFC Weight Class with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

1. Lyoto “The Dragon” MachidaLyoto Machida 3

Machida recently beat Rashad Evans for the Light-Heavyweight Championship, but more importantly he did it in impressive fashion.  Machida dominated Evans in the standup game, before knocking Evans out in the 2nd round.  Machida holds victories over other UFC fighters such as Rich Franklin, BJ Penn, Thiago Silva, Stephan Bonnar, and ex-UFC fighter Tito Ortiz. 

Machida has never been beaten in his MMA career, but not only that, he has never even lost a round in the UFC.  I thought that Machidas style was pretty good, but not great.  After the fight with Evans he showed that he is elusive even for one of the fastest light-heavyweights in the sport.  Machida has earned this spot through consistant and impressive victories throughout his soon to be storied career.  I would anticipate Machida holding onto this belt for some time to come.

2. “Sugar” Rashad Evans     rashad-evans-21

Evans is coming off his first loss to Machida, even more sadly is that he didn’t look very impressive at all.  Machida made Evans look very awkward, but I would now anticipate Machida to do that to anybody in this division.  Evans still is probably the most athletic and quickest fighter in this weight class.  Even though Machida knocked him out, he did take some real flush shots to the jaw, showing that he can definately take a punch, if not several.  I will be interested to see how Rashad responds to the loss, it will be very telling to whether or not he stays on this list or falls compeletly off of it.

 

3. Quentin “Rampage” Jackson     quentin-jackson1

Jackson has had an up and down stint with the UFC.  First, he arrives in the UFC, beats Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman, knocks out Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and beats Dan Henderson.  He losses a tough bout with Forrest Griffin and has some trouble with the law and his manager.  Changes his trainers, heads over to train in England with the Wolfs Lair and comes back and beats Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva and Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine.  Jackson has fought and beaten better competition than Machida and deserves the number two spot. 

4.Rich “Ace” Franklin     rich-franklin1

Franklin is a new arrival to the Light-Heavyweight division, seeing that he couldn’t beat the Middle-weight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva in two tries.  Franklin has a nice win over Matt “The Hammer” Hamill, but followed that up with a close loss to Dan “Hendo” Henderson.  Despite the loss to Henderson I expect that Franklin will get a shot at the Light-Heavyweight title soon enough.  Franklin is a very, very good fighter and given the right situation could hold the title in this division.

5. Forrest Griffin     forrest-griffin

Griffin is a good fighter, but he is not a champion.  He has the work ethic of one, but he lacks the natural talent to be an everyday champion.  He beat Quentin “Rampage” Jackson for the belt, I know.  But, it was a very close fight and I think that Jackson wins that fight at least 7 out of 10 times.  It was a good night for Griffin nothing more.  Griffin will be around for a while, and probably could get another title shot in the future, but he probably wont’ win and if he does he’ll lose it right away again.

Griffin has lost to Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, and Rashad Evans, the two people of note that he has beaten are Jackson and Mauricio Rua.  But, one could argue that when he fought Rua he didn’t get the best Rua had to offer.  Griffin is in this spot because he trains hard, and he’s a tough fight, and honestly he could end up moving either way on this board.  I just wouldn’t expect him to ever get as high as number one though.

(6. Luiz Cane)     luiz-cane

Cane was just featured in a very impressive win over Steve Cantwell.  Cane is on the rise, another fight against a better fighter would be nice, but I like what I see so far.