Archive for Rich Franklin

UFC 99 – The Comeback (6/13/09) (Predictions)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

Note: The odds listed are from www.betus.com (BU) and www.sportsbook.com (SB), and my own personal opinion of what they should be (PO)(I am just trying this out, don’t be surprised if they’re way off to start with).  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.

 

Rich Franklin^$                                Wanderlei Silva

Rich Franklin     vs     Wanderlei Silva 2

Franklin: BU-155 (61%), SB-145 (59%)     (06/04/09)

                     PO-225(69%)

Silva: BU+115 (47%), SB+115 (47%)     (06/04/09)

              PO+205 (33%)

I think you would have to be out of your mind not to go with Franklin on this one.  Yeah, Franklin has had some tough fights lately, and the loss to Dan Henderson didn’t help, but remember he was a UFC Champ for a long time.  Franklin is still a top level talent despite losing to Anderson Silva twice and Henderson.  Franklins conditioning can match Wanderlei Silvas, and his striking is better.

Silva on the other hand has not impressed me at all since coming into the UFC.  Not only that, Silva has suffered some very vicious knockouts throughout his career the last of which came in his last fight against Quentin Jackson.  It is very hard for a fighter to recover mentally and physically after taking a vicious knockout, and Silva has had several.  I think that because of the effects that these knockouts are bound to have, Silva has lost speed and can’t take a punch like he use to.

I would anticipate Franklin knocking Silva out, probably in the second round, Franklin is smart and will feel Silva out before dialing in his range.  I think that the odds for this fight are way too close, I think Franklin wins this fight about 7 out of 10 times, great odds for a betting man.

 

Cain Velasquez     vs     Cheick Kongo^

Velasquez: SB-200 (67%)     (06/04/09)

                         PO-110 (52%)

Kongo: SB+160 (38%)     (06/04/09)

                 PO-110 (52%)

Boy, the UFC sure doesn’t make them easy to pick.  This is a great matchup, it will help give a better look at Heavyweight contendership.  I know that Cain is touted as the UFC Heavyweight to watch, but in the shadows of the division Cheick Kongo has slowly been making a name for himself. 

Kongo has had several nice wins in the UFC, and is currently on a three fight win streak.  Both of Kongos losses in the UFC have been by way of split decision.  I initially wasn’t impressed too much with Kongo and felt that he was over-rated.  However, I can no longer look past his record and his last three fights.  Kongo has looked very crisp with his striking, he has great timing, and seems determined to be a force at this division.

Cain is no slouch either, don’t get me wrong, he can still very easily win this fight.  I just feel that Kongo’s experience is going to carry him in this fight.  I don’t know how the winner will have won, knockout or decision but I can guess it won’t be by submission.  This should be a very fun fight to watch.

 

Mike Swick^$     vs     Ben Saunders

Swick: BU-225 (69%), SB-210 (68%)     (06/04/09)

               PO-300 (75%)

Saunders: BU+175 (36%), SB+170 (37%)     (06/04/09)

                      PO+280 (28%)

I know Saunders is good, perhaps very good, but Swick is better.  Swicks only loss of note in the UFC is to a very good fighter in Yushin Okami.  Since that loss Swick has dropped a weight class, and looks even quicker and more powerful than he did before.  Swick is lightning fast and has the MMA repitour to boot.  Saunders is going to be in for a long fight, or perhaps a very quick one.

Either way, I think Swick is a very good bet to win this fight.

                    

 Marcus Davis^$     vs     Dan Hardy

Davis: BU-225 (69%), SB-210 (68%)     (06/04/09)

               PO-320 (76%)

Hardy: BU+175 (36%), SB+170 (37%)     (06/04/09)

                PO+295 (25%)

Davis is going to knock Hardy out.  No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.  Davis has faced much better competition, and has held his own.  Also, Hardy’s bread and butter is his striking, but Davis holds the winning hand when it comes to striking.  Davis was a professional and amateur boxer, so his hands are much more refined than Hardy’s.  Laslty, Hardy has been running his mouth saying Davis is a fake Irish man, so Davis really has incentive to shove his fist directly into Hardy’s pie hole.  Davis by knockout in the first round.

 

Spencer Fisher*     vs     Caol Uno

Fisher: BU-225 (69%), SB-210 (68%)     (06/04/09)

               PO-150 (60%)

Uno: BU+175 (36%), SB+170 (37%)    (06/04/09)

           PO+130 (43%)

 Well, here’s another tough one to pick.  Uno is very good on the mat, Fisher is good on his feet and OK on the mat.  If Fisher can keep the fight standing he wins, if Uno gets Fisher down there is a very good chance he wins.  Ultimately though I think that Fisher can neutralize enought of Uno’s game to get a decision victory.

 

Terry Etim*     vs     Justin Buchholz

Etim: BU-350 (78%), SB-500 (83%)     (06/04/09)

            PO-215 (68%)

Bucholz: BU+225 (31%), SB+300 (25%)      (06/04/09)

                   PO+190 (34%)

I have not had the opportunity to see either of these fighters fight, but I know Etim is pretty good.  He has more Octagon experience than Bucholz and I think that will come into play here.  For what its worth, Bucholz has a first round loss to Matt Wiman, and Wiman has a decision loss to Sam Stout who Etim beat.  By all accords Wiman probably won the fight, but if Wiman and Etim are at about the same level (which I think they are) then Etim will simply be the better fighter.

Etim victory by way of any means necessary.

 

Dennis Siver*     vs     Dale Hartt

Siver: BU-200 (67%), SB-200 (67%)     (06/04/09)

             PO-170 (63%)

Hartt: BU+150 (40%), SB+160 (38%)     (06/04/09)

              PO+160 (38)

 Siver has more experience.  I have never seen either fighter fight, but the general consensus among the “experts” is that Siver is the better fighter.

 

Paul Taylor*     vs     Peter Sobotta

Taylor: BU-500 (83%), SB-500 (83%)     (06/04/09)

                 PO-210 (68%)

Sobotta: BU+300 (25%), SB+300 (25%)     (06/04/09)

                   PO+220 (32%)

 Paul Taylor is a fun fighter to watch, but really hasn’t shown much in the UFC.  Taylor is a good fighter for anyone to fight entering the UFC.  Taylor is definately beatable, and Sobotta has a very, very good chance of achieving the upset victory.

Sobotta is from Germany, and that’s where this event is, so he’ll be fighting in front of a home crowd so to speak.  The only reason Taylor is picked to win is because of his experience in the UFC.  Taylor wins by decision.

(Note: I haven’t picked too many upset wins for this card, but this could very easily be one of them, I just can’t bring myself to pick Sobotta, but don’t anyone be surprised if Taylor does lose this fight.)

 

Paul Kelly*     vs     Rolando Delgado

Kelly: BU-550 (85%), SB-500 (83%)    (06/04/09)

             PO

Delgado: BU+325 (24%), SB+300 (25%)     (06/04/09)

                   PO

I’m going to wait on this prediction until after the weigh ins.

 

 Denis Stojnic*     vs     Stefan Struve

Stojnic: BU-110 (52%), SB-Even     (06/04/09)

                 PO-160 (62%)

Struve: BU-130 (57%), SB-130 (57%)     (06/04/09)

                PO+130 (43%)

Struve is too tall and lenky to be a real threat in the UFC.  Sruve is listed as 6’11” the only real athletes at this height are playing in the NBA, not fighting for the UFC. 

Stojnic isn’t the best bet, but I think he can take Struve.  Despite being much shorter at 5’11” he still weighs the same.  Both fighters have one fight in the UFC and both have a loss.  Both losses are to quality opponents in Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Antos.

To help put this fight into perspective its like asking an NBA basketball player to fight linebacker in the NFL.  I would consider the linebacker to be a much more explosive athlete than an NBA player.  Although this example isn’t perfect because they’re both fighters in the same sport.  Genetically, Stojnic is going to be more agile even though he is overweight.  Stojnic by ground and pound or knockout.

 

Mustapha Al Turk     vs     Mirko Cro Cop*

Al Turk: BU+275 (27%), SB+350 (22%)     (06/04/09)

                  PO+300 (25%)

Cro Cop: BU-450 (82%), SB-550 (85%)     (06/04/09)

                   PO-430 (81%)

Man, talk about a question mark, Mirko “Cro Cop” is a human question mark. Will he show up to fight?  Will he be dissappointment again? No one can really tell.  What I do know is that if Mirko can fight like everyone knows he can he should easily win.  But, we’ll have to see who shows up.

Also, the UFC really wants Mirko to be a mainstay in the company, perhaps that setting one up for him to knock down if you get my drift.

 

John Hathaway*     vs     Rick Story

Hathaway: SB-150 (60%)     (06/04/09)

                         PO-120 (56%)

Story: SB+120 (45%)     (06/04/09)

              PO+120 (45%)

I’ve never seen either fighter fight before, this is Story’s first UFC appearance and Hathaways second.  Hathaway is probably a safe bet though.

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.