UFC 141: Lesnar vs Overeem

•December 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold its next event, UFC 141, this Friday, December 30th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The main event is a heavyweight fight, with the winner expected to face current UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos for the UFC Heavyweight title.  Here is a review of the main event, and other fights on the main card that Dana White and the UFC have scheduled for UFC 141: Lesnar vs Overeem.

The main event – Heavyweight bout:  Brock Lesnar (5-2-0) vs Alistair “The Reem” Overeem (35-11-1)

UFC Heavyweight Brock LesnarBrock Lesnar was an NCAA Division I champion wrestler.  After college, he became a pro wrestler in the WWE, and also tried out for the NFL before becoming a professional MMA fighter. He has had only 7 MMA fights, but is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, after winning the championship in only his fourth professional fight.  In his 5 wins, 2 were by knockout and two have been by submission. Lesnar has had to put his career on hold twice due to separate bouts of life threatening diverticulitis.  Now he is completely healthy and ready to continue his path towards regaining the UFC heavyweight title.

Lesnar is a tremendous athlete and has quickness for his size.  He is an excellent wrestler, and has excellent takedown technique.  He likes to take his opponents to the ground and will not look to stand and throw punches.  Once on the ground, he will use his strength to hold them there and throw some heavy fists to secure a KO/TKO.  Lesnar has gotten better with his submissions, but his strength is in his wrestling and his hands. His weakness is that he does not like getting hit, and will turtle up if he gets knocked to the ground.  Lesnar does not have good striking defense, and his takedown defense is decent just because he is typically much larger than his opponents.

UFC Heavyweight Alistair OvereemAfter fighting for 9 years at lighter weights Alistair Overeem stopped trying to cut weight and started gaining muscle.  He became a heavyweight champion in Strikeforce, Dream, and also won the K-1 World Grand Prix in 2010.  With 3 titles to his name, Overeem wants the UFC Heavyweight Title next.  This is his first fight in the Octagon, and is his stepping stone to a UFC title shot.  He is skilled in kickboxing, Muay Thai, and submission grappling.  Of his 35 wins, 19 have been by submission, and 14 have been by KO/TKO.  He has won 10 MMA fights in a row, with his last loss in September of 2007.  Out of his 11 losses, 6 have been by KO.

Overeem is a stand-up striker, as well as a good submission grappler.  He is very strong, and although he has knockout power, he is not one-dimensional.  He is an excellent kickboxer, and also has good submission skills, along with a fierce ground and pound.  He is a dangerous fighter who can win in a variety of ways, but will most likely like to stand and out-punch Lesnar.  He will be looking for a knockout in this fight.

Lightweight bout: Nate Diaz (14-7-0) vs Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (17-3-0, 1NC)

UFC lightweight fighter Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz started fighting when his older brother asked him to train with him.  He won season five of The Ultimate Fighter series, and has been a competitive fighter in the UFC ever since.  He is still young at only 26, and has been fighting in the UFC since age 22.  He is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is a good boxer and kickboxer.  He also competes in triathlons and mountain biking as part of his training.  Diaz is not the strongest lightweight around, but is a tough competitor and a submission expert.  Ten of his 14 wins have come by submission, and six of his losses have been by decision.  You don’t really have to respect his knockout power, but he can be an effective boxer.  He has good striking defense, but can be taken down by his opponents.  He has struggled with the upper echelon of fighters in the lightweight class, but has won three of his last five fights.  Diaz is a scrapper and always puts up a good fight.  Four of his last 11 fights have won fight of the night, and three have won submission of the night.  Look for Diaz to try and submit his opponent throughout this fight.

Donald Cerrone UFC Lightweight Fighter

Donald Cerrone had his first professional fight just before his 23rd birthday.  Prior to fighting MMA professionally, Cerrone was a bull rider.  After bull riding, Cerrone amassed a 13-0 record as an amateur kickboxer, and went 28-0 after turning pro, with 18 first round knockouts.  He uses his length well with his boxing, Muay Thai, and submissions.  Cerrone has excellent stamina, and has won 13 of his 17 fights by way of submission.  He is a successful boxer and likes to throw the straight right, but has won just one fight by KO/TKO.  He started his MMA career by winning his first 9 fights, and has won his last 6, including all four of his UFC fights.  Cerrone is successful at defending strikes, but needs to improve his takedown defense to take his talent to the next level.  All 3 of his career losses were fights for the WEC Lightweight Championship, and two of the three were losses by decision.  Look for Cerrone to wear his opponent out with punches and leg kicks until he can get them on the ground and submit them.  Since the WEC merged with the UFC, Cerrone has wanted his chance to fight for the UFC Lightweight Championship.  This will be a giant step towards that opportunity.

Welterweight bout: Jon Fitch (26-3-1, 1NC) vs Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks (11-1-0)

UFC Welterweight Jon FitchJon Fitch is a wrestler, and was a very successful college wrestler at Purdue University.  He is coming off a draw against BJ Penn, after winning 5 consecutive fights by decision.  He has won 21 out of his last 23 fights, and has 13 total wins by decision.  Fitch has basically dedicated his entire life to MMA fighting, and it has served him well. Fitch is an accomplished wrestler and a black belt in Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu.  Because of his amazing work ethic, he typically outlasts his opponents over the course of 3 rounds, and will grind you down physically and mentally.  Fitch doesn’t necessarily possess striking power, and has not had a lot of wins by submission.  He is decent at avoiding strikes and takedowns, but is susceptible. Although Fitch is taller and will have a reach advantage, he will try to break down his opponent and get them to the ground.  This fight may come down to whoever gets the most takedowns.

UFC Welterweight Johny HendricksJohny Hendricks is also an accomplished wrestler, winning the NCAA Division I National Championship twice at Oklahoma State University.  Hendricks began training for a professional MMA career right out of college.  He not only is a wrestler, but also a good (dirty) boxer, and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He also has heavy hands, with six of his 11 wins coming by KO/TKO.  Like his opponent, he is not a submission expert.  He has only one loss in his career, and that was by decision in a very close fight.  Hendricks likes to strike, and also likes to take down his opponents.  He is not that good at defending against the strike, and has only decent takedown defense. Both fighters have similar skills and fighting technique, with Hendricks having more power.  Look for Hendricks to try and capitalize early to catch his opponent off guard, and secure a KO/TKO.  If not, this fight will be a battle of wills.  It may come down to who will be able to outlast their opponent.

Light Heavyweight bout: Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (26-5-0) vs Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson (12-1-0)

UFC Light Heavyweight Vladimir MatyushenkoVladimir Matyushenko is resurrecting his career at the age of 40.  He fought in UFC 32 back in 2001, and didn’t fight in the UFC again until 2009, at age 38.  He has won 5 out of his last 6 bouts, with his only loss coming to current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones.  He has always struggled to defeat the top-tiered contenders in his weight class.  His background is in wrestling, and he was the Soviet National Wrestling Champion when he was younger.  He possesses enormous strength, with nine wins by KO/TKO, and has 15 years of MMA experience to draw upon.  He would love to take the fight to the ground and either submit his opponent, or ground and pound his opponent into a TKO.  As an older athlete, he may tend to gas if the fight goes all three rounds, although he has won 10 of his fights by way of decision.  Matyushenko could improve defensively by avoiding more strikes, although his wrestling experience makes his takedown defense pretty solid. Matyushenko has never been submitted in 31 MMA fights.

UFC Light Heavyweight Alexander GustafssonAlexander Gustafsson began his pro MMA career at age 20, and is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  As a youngster Gustafsson trained in boxing, and it has served him well.  At only 24 years old, eight of his 12 wins have come by knockout.  Standing 6’5″ tall, he typically has the height advantage over his opponents, and Gustafsson uses that to his advantage with his standup.  He is an aggressive fighter that pressures his opponents, and he has finished seven fights in the first round.  He is not great at defending strikes, but is very good at defending takedowns.  Only one of his fights has gone the distance, so look for Gustafsson to try and finish the fight early with an aggressive approach and some heavy hands.  If he hurts his opponent and the fight goes to the ground, also look for some ground and pound, and possibly a submission to end the fight.

Featherweight bout: Nam Phan (17-10-0) vs Jimy “The Kid” Hettes (9-0-0)

UFC Featherweight Nam PhanNam Phan is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Karate, and a 2nd degree black belt in Quyen Dao. He is very well-rounded, as his style also includes boxing, in which he has a 3-1 professional career. He is very accurate with his standup striking, and is decent at avoiding strikes.  He has only attempted one takedown in all of his MMA fights, and he has good takedown defense.  Phan has 7 wins by knockout, 5 by submission, and 5 by decision.  He has six losses by decision and three by knockout.  He is 1-1 in the UFC, and needs another win if he wants to continue to advance his career.  Look for Phan to use his experience and excellent boxing skills to finish off his opponent, but it may be by way of a decision.

UFC Featherweight Jimy HettesJimy Hettes started boxing at age 14, and training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at age 16.  After amassing a 4-0 amateur MMA record, Hettes turned pro in 2009 at age 22.  In two years, he has garnered a 9-0 record, including winning his first UFC fight this past August. Hettes is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and also a brown belt in Judo, but his expertise is as a submission tactician.  He has won all nine of his fights by submission, with his first six wins coming in the first round.  This is a step up for Hettes, and a challenge he looks forward to in becoming a contender in the featherweight class.  Hettes is not the best at defending the strike, but has not been taken down because he has been first to attack his opponent.  He is not a striker, so look for Hettes to try and take down his opponent early and often.  If he cannot get a takedown and a submission, it will be difficult for Hettes to win the fight.

Below is the list of the remaining UFC fights on the card for UFC 141 Lesnar vs Overeem:

Preliminary card (Facebook)

  • Featherweight bout: Manvel Gamburyan vs. Diego Nunes
  • Welterweight bout: Matt Riddle vs. Luis Ramos
  • Lightweight bout: Jacob Volkmann vs. Efrain Escudero
  • Welterweight bout: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Sean Pierson

Preliminary card (televised)

  • Lightweight bout: Anthony Njokuani vs. Danny Castillo
  • Featherweight bout: Ross Pearson vs. Junior Assunção

UFC 140: Jones vs Machida

•December 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold its next event, UFC 140, this Saturday, December 10th, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The main event will be a light heavyweight championship fight scheduled for five rounds.  The original bout was to be between current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, but when evans had to pull out due to a thumb injury, Lyoto Machida got his opportunity.

Here is a review of the main event, and other fights on the main card that Dana White and the UFC have scheduled for UFC 140: Jones vs Machida.

The main event – Light Heavyweight Championship bout:  Jon “Bones” Jones (14-1-0) vs Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (17-2-0)

UFC light heavyweight fighter Jon JonesJon Jones became the youngest UFC champion in history at 23 years old when he won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship earlier this year.  He has been training in MMA since 2007.  He caught the attention of the UFC by going 6-0 after turning professional, even though he was only three months into his MMA career.  His only loss to date was a disqualification, and this will be his second title defense. Jones was a national junior college wrestling champion, and is also well-rounded in Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Greco-Roman Wrestling, and Gaidojutsu.  Jones has a tall frame at 6’4″, but likes to take his opponents down.  Once on top, he has vicious elbows he is not afraid to throw, and has accumulated 8 of his 14 wins by KO/TKO.  He has won two of his last fights by submission as he becomes a more well-rounded MMA fighter.  Only two of his fights have gone to a decision.  He is very good at avoiding strikes himself, and has never been taken down.  Perhaps it has to do with his long frame and his 84.5″ reach, which is the longest in UFC history.  Expect Jones to try and get his opponent to the ground and throw down elbows until he gets another TKO.  Or he may attempt another submission from the ground once he wears his opponent down.

UFC Light Heavyweight Fighter Lyoto MachidaLyoto Machida started his MMA career 16-0.  He is also a former UFC light heavyweight champion, and after losing two fights in a row, won his most recent fight by KO, giving him this opportunity to fight again for the championship.  Machida is a Shotokan Karate expert, trained by his father since the age of 3, and is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and skilled in Sumo.  He has a very unique way of fighting, in that he counter-attacks his opponents.  He relies on timing and accuracy, and likes to frustrate his opponents by defending against their strikes and takedown attempts.  Because he is not the aggressor, many believe Machida is a boring fighter, but he is very successful, and has won 9 out of 10 fights that have gone the distance.  Of his 17 victories, six have come by way of KO.  He is an accurate puncher with some power, but also has powerful kicks.  Machida is also good at defending the takedown.  He would like to keep this fight standing, and use his legs to keep his distance and set up his counter punches.  This will be a tough fight for Machida to keep away from his opponent and try to win by decision after five complete rounds.  If the fight goes into the later rounds, Machida may have to come out of his comfort zone, become aggressive, and try to secure a KO/TKO.

Heavyweight bout: Frank Mir (15-5-0) vs Minotauro Nogueira (33-6-1, 1NC)

UFC Heavyweight fighter Frank MirFrank Mir has been fighting in the UFC since the age of 22, and has held the UFC heavyweight title twice.  His last two losses have been for the heavyweight championship, but since his most recent loss, Mir has won his last two fights.  He is looking for his third opportunity at getting a title shot.  Mir was a state champion wrestler in high school, and was brought up in martial arts because his father owned a martial arts school. Mir is a student of MMA, training in Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, as well as holding a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kempo Karate.  He is surprising agile for a heavyweight, but sometimes will not come into a fight in top physical condition.  Mir is a submission expert, and has won 8 of 15 fights by way of submission. Surprisingly, he has only won two fights by KO/TKO with punches, with one of them being against Nogueira in 2008.  Where Mir gets into trouble is his defense, which is unexpected given his background and expertise in wrestling and MMA.  All 5 of his losses have come by way of KO/TKO due to punches.  He doesn’t seem to weather the storm very well, and both his defense against the strike and against the takedown are horrible. Only two fights in his entire MMA career have gone the distance, and I don’t see this fight making it that far.  if Mir wants another opportunity at the heavyweight championship, he will need to show better defense, take his opponent down, and go for a submission.

UFC Heavyweight fighter Minotauro NogueiraMinotauro Nogueira is known for having excellent stamina.  He is also a great Jiu-Jitsu tactician and boxer.  He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo.  Twenty of his 33 wins have been by submission and 10 have been by decision. Nogueira only has 3 KO/TKO’s in his twelve year career.  He has the distinction of being the first Pride Heavyweight Champion, and is the only fighter in history to hold the Pride and UFC heavyweight titles.  Nogueira has been looking for this rematch for three years, and can take more punishment than a normal fighter.  He is tough, resilient, and just will not quit no matter what.  He has been known for his comebacks after it looks like he is beaten, so you can’t ever count him out.  He is not overly effective in his strikes, but likes to fight on his feet.  He could also improve his striking defense.  He is not too successful with his takedown attempts, but doesn’t typically want to take the fight to the ground.  He only avoids takedowns about half the time.  His best bet in this fight may be to take the same approach as his opponent, go for a takedown and look for the submission.  He is looking for a different result than the last time they fought.

Light Heavyweight bout: Tito “The People’s Champ” Ortiz (17-9-1) vs Antonio Rogerio “Little Nog” Nogueira (19-5-0)

UFC Light Heavyweight Fighter Tito OrtizIn his last seven fights, Tito Ortiz is 1-5-1, and seems to be winding down on an illustrious career that helped developed the UFC to what it is today.  After this fight, he has one fight left on his UFC contract.  Although he is only 36, he has had several serious injuries and multiple surgeries, and he may be considering retirement.  Ortiz was a wrestler in high school and college, and has been fighting in the UFC for 14 years.  He has taken on all-comers, and has had some of the most memorable fights in UFC history.  He holds the record for holding the UFC light heavyweight belt longer than any other fighter.  Ortiz has eight knockouts in his 17 wins, with five other wins by decision.  Of his nine losses, four have been by decision.  Being mainly a wrestler and boxer, look for Ortiz to try and take the fight to the ground.  He has a killer instinct with his ground and pound, and can finish a fight quickly.  Ortiz needs to be more cautious than he has been in the past, and wait for his opportunity to make his move.  In the meantime, he needs to defend against the strike.  Ortiz shouldn’t have to worry about his opponent attempting to take him down. If Ortiz decides to throw caution to the wind and make this an all-out brawl, look for this fight to contend for fight of the night honors.

UFC Light Heavyweight Antonio Rogerio NogueiraAntonio Rogerio Nogueira is a boxer and black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He is the identical twin brother of Minotauro Nogueira, who is also fighting at UFC 140. In addition to his MMA career, Nogueira was an accomplished amateur boxer for several years.  Nogueira fought in Pride from ’02 to ’07, and after amassing an overall 17-3 MMA record, he had his first opportunity to fight in the UFC in ’09. He won his first two fights in the UFC, but recently has lost his last two fights, and is eager to get back on the winning track.  Eight of his wins have been by decision, with six wins coming by submission, and five by KO/TKO.  Four of his five losses have been by decision, and he has only been knocked out once in his eleven year career.  Nogueira is a standup fighter who will look to outbox his opponent.  He will probably not even attempt a takedown during the fight.  He is decent at defending the strike and pretty good at avoiding being taken down.  This will be a classic fight between Nogueira the boxer, and Ortiz the wrestler.  If Nogueira can keep the fight standing, he should be able to out box Ortiz and win by submission.

Below is the list of the remaining UFC fights on the card for UFC 140 Jones vs Machida:

Main Event (Pay Per View)

  • Welterweight bout: Claude Patrick vs. Brian Ebersole
  • Featherweight bout: Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung

Preliminary card (Facebook)

  • Lightweight bout: Mitch Clarke vs. John Cholish
  • Welterweight bout: Rich Attonito vs. Jake Hecht
  • Lightweight bout: Mark Bocek vs. Nik Lentz

Preliminary card (televised)

  • Bantamweight bout: Yves Jabouin vs. Walel Watson
  • Catchweight (158.5lb) bout: John Makdessi vs. Dennis Hallman
  • Middleweight bout: Jared Hamman vs. Constantinos Philippou
  • Light Heavyweight bout: Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Igor Pokrajac

TUF 14 – The Ultimate Fighter Finale

•December 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Ultimate Fighter 14 saw the first bantamweights and featherweights attempt to win a six figure contract to fight in the UFC.  This was a very skillful and tactical season that saw some great fights.  There were good knockouts and quality submissions throughout the show.

The bantamweight final had T.J. Dillashaw going against John Dodson.  Dillashaw is a solid wrestler with great ground and pound.  Dodson is very athletic, and has incredible balance.  He also is super quick.

Diego Brandao and Dennis Bermudez fought it out in the featherweight final.  Brandao is very explosive, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist, and a fantastic striker.  Bermudez is just all out rough and tough with good cardio.  He is a good wrestler, and has been working on his boxing skills.

The finale also included a middleweight fight between the two coaches of TUF 14, Michael Bisping and Jason Miller.  Bisping is one of the most talented and toughest fighters in his weight class, with good takedown defense and good cardio.  He’s hungry for another shot at the title.  Miller is a solid fighter who is making his first appearance in the UFC since 2005.  He is a ground specialist.

Bantamweight Fight – T.J. Dillashaw (5-0) vs John “The Magician” Dodson (12-5)

UFC Bantamweight John DodsonDodson snuck a left hand in on Dillashaw’s chin that stunned him fifteen seconds into round one.  Dillashaw started off with a lot of leg kicks and kicks to the body.  Dodson showed his quickness again by landing a good left hook, followed by a left kick to the chin of Dillishaw.  In an aggressive move, Dillishaw charged Dodson and attempted to throw a lead right.  Dodson stepped back and to his right, and countered with a solid left hook to UFC Bantamweight TJ DillashawDillashaw’s chin that sent him tumbling to the ground.  Dillishaw tried to get back up, but his legs were too wobbly, and he fell onto his back with Dodson landing on top.  Dodson followed up with several hammer fists, and although Dillashaw was attempting to grab hold of Dodson, referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 1:54 in the first round.  The left of Dodson was very similar to how he finished the semi-finals fight against John Bedford.  John Dodson of Team Miller was declared the winner by TKO, and became the first TUF Bantamweight Champion, as well as the winner of the six figure contract to fight in the UFC.

Featherweight Fight – Diego “Ceara” Brandao (13-7) vs Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez (8-2)

UFC Featherweight Diego BrandaoBoth fighters came out swinging in this fight and held nothing back.  Bermudez caught the leg kick of Brandao and threw him to the ground early on.  He got a guillotine hold on top of Brandao as he attempted to get to his feet.  Bermudez released the Guillotine, and as he stepped away, landed a heavy knee to the body, followed by a strong left to Brandao’s face.  Both fighters continued to circle the ring exchanging heavy punches and landing body kicks over the next minute.  Brandao then landed a wild overhand right that dropped Bermudez to the ground.  Bermudez got to his feet, but definitely got rocked.  Brandao did not go for the kill and let Bermudez regain his legs.  After exchanging more heavy blows, Brandao landed a flying knee to the head of Bermudez that knocked him on his back.  Brandao immediately got on top in half guard and then took Bermudez’ back.  After getting caught with a hammer fist, Bermudez escaped back to his feet.  Brandao aggressively charged Bermudez, which was how he UFC Featherweight Dennis Bermudezknocked down Bermudez earlier in the round, but this time Bermudez stepped back and countered with a short, but powerful right that bent Brandao backwards and dropped him to the floor.  Bermudez tried to finish the fight with just over 50 seconds left by landing some heavy hammer fists and right hands.  Bermudez got careless in his attack and Brandao locked Bermudez’ left arm, threw his right leg over Bermudez’ head, rolled his hips, and flipped Bermudez over on his back to secure an arm bar and tap him out with 9 seconds left in the round.  Just when you though the fight was going to end via TKO, the tide turned and Diego Brandao of Team Bisping ends up getting the victory by tapout at 4:51 in round one.  He used excellent Jiu-Jitsu to become the first ever TUF Featherweight Champion and win the six figure contract to fight in the UFC.

Middleweight Fight:  Michael “The Count” Bisping (22-3) vs Jason “Mayhem” Miller (34-8, 1NC)

UFC Middleweight Michael BispingMiller started out aggressive, stalking Bisping and getting the first punches and kicks off.  As Miller went for a takedown, Bisping got Miller into a clinch.  After they separated, both fighters exchanged blows in the center of the octagon until Miller took Bisping down.  Miller stayed on top of Bisping for almost two minutes, landing a few blows to the head, but did not do a great deal of damage.  Bisping was able to wall walk back to his feet, and they continued to throw punches back in the center of the octagon.  Miller threw a big overhand right that Bisping ducked under, and Bisping countered with a left hook that landed.  Miller again tried to throw a right and Bisping ducked under and countered with a right.  Miller was most effective with his jab throughout the first round, but by the end, Bisping was starting to find his timing.

UFC Middleweight Jason MillerBisping came out, and was much more technical with his boxing in the second round.  He began connecting frequently to Miller’s face, as he became more aggressive and started moving forward.  Miller attempted another takedown but was unsuccessful this time.  The fight was paused briefly due to an accidental head butt by Miller.  As the fight continued, Bisping was ducking under every big right hand Miller threw.  Bisping continued to connect with left jabs and right hands that bloodied up Miller’s nose.  Miller waved for Bisping to come forward as he was against the cage, and Bisping obliged.  Bisping connected with a body shot, and followed that up with a left jab, right hand, left hook, right to the body, left hook, and right hook, that seemed to suck some life out of Miller.  It looked like Miller had gassed, and Bisping started to dominate the rest of the round.  He landed several effective punches that resulted in a large shiner developing under Miller’s left eye.  Bisping picked Miller apart the last minute and a half, which led Miller to a desperate attempt at a takedown.  Bisping defended once again, and the round ended with Bisping on top of Miller connecting with several elbows and strikes to the head.

Round three began with both fighters throwing some heavy blows, then Miller attempting another takedown.  Miller ended up on the ground, but Bisping wanted no part of the ground game, so he let Miller back up.  Bisping was landing some clean, solid blows to the nose of Miller, while Miller was landing glancing blows, or swinging at the air.  Miller had stopped moving forward, and that gave Bisping even more confidence to attack.  After a brief pause in the fight when Miller poked Bisping in the eye, Miller attempted another takedown.  Bisping got on top of Miller, who was on his knees, and began to throw hard left hands and hammer fists.  With Miller still on his knees, Bisping stood up and delivered some big knees to Miller’s side.  As Miller rolled to his back, Bisping continued to brutally punish him with elbows, hammer fists, and strikes to the face and body.  Seeing that Miller was not intelligently defending himself against the barrage, referee Steve Mazzagatti stepped in and called the fight.  Miller showed a lot of heart, as he took a great deal of punishment over the last round and a half.  The fight was stopped at 3:34 in round three, declaring Michael Bisping the winner by TKO.  With the victory, Bisping will be looking for a shot at the UFC middleweight title soon.

TUF 14 – The Ultimate Fighter Preliminary Results

•December 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Ultimate Fighter 14 saw the first bantamweights and featherweights attempt to win a six figure contract to fight in the UFC.  This was a very skillful and tactical season that saw some great fights.  There were good knockouts and quality submissions throughout the show.  Below are the results of the preliminary fights from TUF 14 The Finale.

Bantamweight Fight:  Louis “Goodnight” Gaudinot (5-1) vs “Brutal” Johnny Bedford (17-10-1)

UFC Bantamweight Johnny BedfordBedford got a takedown early in round one, and put the much shorter Gaudinot against the cage.  Gaudinot got to his feet, but Bedford maintained control and eventually secured another takedown.  Bedford transitioned right away to full mount, without much effort, and began reigning punches and elbows on Gaudinot, which opened up a cut over his left eye.  Gaudinot was doing nothing but trying to protect his face, and gave up his back to avoid more punishment.  As they move against the cage, Gaudinot rolled back over on his back, and Bedford immediately took full mount again.  Gaudinot was lucky to survive the round as Bedford dominated on the ground.

UFC Bantamweight Louis GaudinotTo begin round two, Gaudinot tried to utilize kicks to keep distance between him and Bedford, but Bedford closed the gap and secured another takedown.  Gaudinot got to his feet, but Bedford connected with heavy punches before taking Gaudinot down again.  With Gaudinot in half guard, Bedford took his time to be precise, and used effective strikes to the body and head to punish Gaudinot.  Bedford moved to full mount again, and continued to use elbows and punches to wear Gaudinot down.  Bedford eventually attempted an armbar submission with 20 seconds left, but Gaudinot held on.  Gaudinot spent almost the entire second round on his back as Bedford dominated.

Bedford started off with a couple of good knees, then a body shot, as they fought on their feet for the first minute of the final round.  Gaudinot connected with a spinning back fist, but Bedford responded with a series of brutal punches to the body that dropped Gaudinot.  Bedford then put Gaudinot against the fence and starts delivering vicious knees to Gaudinot’s body until referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight at 1:58 in the third round.  Gaudinot showed good heart to last as long as he did, but was obviously overmatched.  Bedford wins by TKO.

Lightweight Fight:  Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (13-2) vs Yves Edwards (41-17-1)

UFC Lightweight Tony FergusonBoth fighters started this fight tentative, throwing jabs and feeling each other out.  Ferguson then connected with three solid leg kicks that Edwards didn’t even try to defend.  Ferguson was using kicks more than Edwards, until Edwards connected with a head kick.  He followed that with a good stiff left to Ferguson’s chin.  Later, Edwards nailed Ferguson with an uppercut that landed right on his chin, but Ferguson countered with a short right to Edwards’ ear that rocked him.  Ferguson became more aggressive and rocked Edwards again with a left uppercut, then two solid right hands.  Ferguson tried to finish the fight with a flurry of heavy blows, but as he began to gas, Edwards connected with a serious head kick that stunned Ferguson.  After a wild exchange, Edwards shot for a rare takedown, and then Ferguson rolled and attempted an omoplata submission as round one ended.

UFC Lightweight Yves EdwardsBoth fighters started round two exchanging blows in the middle of the ring.  Edwards connected with a right that knocked Ferguson’s head back.  He followed up with a leg kick that dropped Ferguson to a knee, but he immediately stood back up.  Edwards connected on a flying knee as he had become more aggressive this round.  The pace began to slow a bit in the middle of the round, as they continued to exchange blows mainly in the center of the ring.  Edwards connected with a good left, just as Ferguson was changing to southpaw stance.  Ferguson countered with a good left of his own.  With the round winding down, Edwards went for another takedown, but this time it was stuffed easily by Ferguson.  As the round ended, Ferguson wound up taking Edwards down.

The final round began with both fighters exchanging blows and kicks.  Ferguson landed a good body kick as Edwards continued to defend, counter, and use leg kicks.  Ferguson began using head kicks and continued to use his jab effectively.  Edwards then landed another head kick, and then another.  Both fighters spent the entire third round standing, as they continued to exchange blows and kicks.  They both showed good fighting and striking technique, as well as defense throughout the fight.  The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 declaring Tony Ferguson the winner by unanimous decision.

Bantamweight Fight:  Dustin Pague (10-4) vs John “Prince” Albert (6-1)

UFC Bantamweight John AlbertBoth fighters didn’t wast any time, as they came out swinging big.  After exchanging blows, Albert connected with a solid left hook to the ear of Pague, followed by a right to the chin that knocked him to the ground.  Albert immediately got on top of Pague and threw down some hammer fists.  He put Pague in a gift wrap (Pague’s right arm is wrapped around his own neck, and is held there by Alberts left arm around Pagues head).  Pague couldn’t intelligently defend himself against the barrage of right hands Albert was throwing.  Pague had to tap out at 1:09 in the very first round, declaring John Albert the winner by TKO.

Other results from The Ultimate Fighter 14 fight card:

Featherweight: Marcus  Brimage (3-1) vs. Stephen Bass (10-0)

Brimage defeated Bass via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Bantamweight: Roland Delorme (6-1) vs. Josh Ferguson (8-3)

Delorme defeated Ferguson in a submission via rear-naked choke at 0:22 in round 3

Featherweight: Steven Siler (18-9) vs. Josh Clopton (6-0-1)

Siler defeated Clopton via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Featherweight: Bryan Caraway (15-5) vs. Dustin Neace (23-17-1)

Caraway defeated Neace in a submission via rear-naked choke at 3:38 in round 2

Arizona Cardinals making right move by getting younger: Part 2 – Defense

•December 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is the second part of a two part story about the Arizona Cardinals making the move to get younger.  The Cardinals are currently ranked as the third oldest team in the NFL.  They have the second oldest defense and the oldest defensive backups in the league.  As I stated in part 1, since the Cardinals started the season at 1-6, and due to recent injuries, the coaching staff has decided to utilize some of their younger talent in larger roles.  This has ultimately led to more success on the field, as the defense is stepping up, and holding teams to fewer points (18.5 compared to 26.1).

Defensively, the Cardinals drafted a cornerback as their first round pick (fifth overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft.  They also drafted an outside linebacker, linebacker, and defensive tackle in 2011.  Three out of these four picks have already made an impact on this team in their first NFL season.

Arizona Cardinals defensive back Patrick PetersonPatrick Peterson has obviously made the biggest difference so far this year, but it hasn’t always been on the defensive side of the field.  On special teams he has already tied an NFL record by returning four punts for touchdowns, which directly helped the Cardinals win two of their four games this season.  In addition to that, Peterson has started every game at cornerback, and has two interceptions.  He is fifth on the team with 43 solo tackles, but only two tackles away from being the second leading tackler on the team.  Peterson has quickness, speed, and good vision, but being a 21 year old rookie, he still makes mistakes and gets beat in coverage sometimes.  On the other side of the field, 23 year old A.J. Jefferson and 26 year old Richard Marshall have shared the starting cornerback role.  They have combined for three additional interceptions, two sacks, and 88 tackles.  It is yet to be determined who will secure that spot for now, and in the future, but the Cardinals know they have good young talent at the corners.

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl WashingtonThe Cardinals drafted Sam Acho, who has been given an opportunity to showcase his talents and has made the most of it.  Due to the knee injury of 34 year old Joey Porter in game six, Acho has been given the start at outside linebacker.  In five starts, he has 19 tackles, 5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles.  On Nov. 27, he became the first rookie since 2004 to record multiple sacks in a game.  He seems to have a better understanding of the defense each week, which has improved his performance on the field.  At just 23 years old, he is already becoming an impact player.  In addition to Acho, the Cardinals have second year starter Daryl Washington at inside linebacker.  Washington just turned 25, yet he is leading the team in total tackles, and has three sacks and two interceptions on the year.  Although they are not starters yet, second year linebacker O’Brien Schofield, and inside linebacker Stewart Bradley are seeing more and more playing time and making positive contributions.  Schofield, who is 24, has 1.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble so far this season.  Bradley, who just turned 28, is getting more comfortable with the new defensive scheme after coming from Philadelphia.  With such a young corps of big, talented linebackers, the Cardinals have a good base for their defense for years to come.

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais CampbellThe bookends on the defensive line are Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell.  Campbell just turned 25, and is really making a name for himself in the NFL.  Standing at 6’8”, he is a large body to try and move.  He is having his best season ever, with 43 solo tackles, 5 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble.  Nose tackle Dan Williams is only 24 years old, and has started every game for the Cardinals in only his second NFL season.  Unfortunately he suffered a season ending broken arm Nov. 20, while playing in one of his best games of his short career.  Williams is a force in the middle, and a talented run stuffer.  He is a prototypical nose tackle, and as long as he works hard to stay in shape, should be a staple in the middle of the Cardinals defense for a long time.  David Carter was the Cardinals sixth round draft pick, and has already made key contributions this season.  At 6’5”, Carter may end up playing more as a defensive end in his NFL career, but for now will help fill in for the injured Williams.  In limited play so far, he already has one sack and a forced fumble.  Carter is just about to turn 24, and based on how much he has surprised the coaches in his rookie season, looks to be on his way to a long and successful career with the Cardinals.

The biggest question mark on defense is the aging of the safeties.  Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson are both big and physical safeties, but will not be around too much longer.  The Cardinals are allowing over 250 passing yards per game which ranks them 25th in the NFL.  If the Cardinals can find some young quality safeties to replace a couple of the best in the NFL, their defense should continue to improve every year, and be solid for the next five to eight seasons.

Arizona Cardinals making right move by getting younger: Part 1 – Offense

•November 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Arizona Cardinals are ranked as the third oldest team in the NFL.  They also have the oldest backups in the league on the offensive line.  Since starting the season off at 1-6, the Cardinals coaching staff has decided to utilize some of their younger talent in larger roles.  Injuries have also plagued the team, but in some instances, it has actually allowed younger players more opportunity.  The offense seems to be controlling the ball better, and there are signs that they are improving as a unit.  Overall, the team has won three of their last four games.

Offensively, the Cardinals drafted a running back, tight end, fullback, and wide receiver in the 2011 NFL Draft.  Almost every one of these picks has already been productive in their first NFL season, which bodes well for the Cardinals future.  In addition to the new draft picks, the Cardinals have several other young players who are getting their opportunity to shine.

Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie WellsRyan Williams showed a lot of promise until he suffered a season ending injury in the second preseason game on August 19.  He saw limited game time, but was averaging 5.4 yards a carry, and the coaches were very high on him.  His injury has allowed Beanie Wells to step up and show his worth.  Although he has suffered some minor injuries this season, Wells currently has rushed for a career high 849 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and eight touchdowns.  He also rushed for a franchise record 228 yards on Nov. 27.  Wells turned 23 this year, and Williams is only 21.  The running back position for the Cardinals should be stable for many years to come.

Arizona Cardinals Tight End Robert HouslerTight end Robert Housler has potential, especially as a receiving tight end.  He has great speed for his size, and very good hands.  Housler would have seen a lot more game time this season had the Cardinals not acquired Todd Heap after the draft, and he had not suffered a groin injury that has hampered him the last four weeks.  Housler had five receptions for 68 yards in a preseason game, and at 23, looks to be the tight end of the future for the Cardinals.  Look for Housler to see more action throughout the remainder of the season.  Heap is 31, and will be a good mentor for Housler.

Arizona Cardinals Fullback Anthony ShermanRookie fullback Anthony Sherman was so impressive at camp that he started the first game of the season.  He will be a great lead blocker, and can help in passing situations.  He had a small setback with an ankle injury early in November that took him out for several weeks.  Reagan Maui’a replaced Sherman over the last three games, but was released recently, now that Sherman is healthy again.  Sherman will turn 23 in a few days, and as a replacement for 27-year-old Maui’a, should be a staple as the blocking back for the Cardinals for several years.

Larry Fitzgerald wide receiver Arizona CardinalsThe last offensive draft pick was wide receiver DeMarco Sampson.  He still needs to prove he is an NFL caliber receiver.  He currently is behind Larry Fitzgerald on the depth chart.  His positives are his size, good hands, and body control to catch balls in the air.  He may not have the separation speed to make him a number one or two receiver in the NFL.  Andre Roberts is another young receiver.  He is only in his second year in the NFL, but has been the Cardinals starter all season, opposite Fitzgerald.  He has good hands, but lacks size, and is not a good run blocker.  He has good speed, but not the type of speed to separate from defensive backs.  Both Sampson and Roberts need to step up their games if they plan on being the future of the Cardinals receiving corps.  Sampson will soon be 26, while Roberts is almost 24.  Fitzgerald, at 28, recently signed an eight year contract with the Cardinals, and is one of the NFL’s elite receivers.  Fitz has 51 receptions for 888 yards, well on his way to his sixth 1,000 yard receiving season.  The Cardinals will need another receiver to step up as a solid number two, to add to the threat in the passing game.

The Cardinals just need to find their future quarterback (possibly Kolb at 27 years old), and improve the offensive line, especially in pass blocking.  If they can do these two things, the Cardinals should have a successful offense for at least the next five to eight years.

UFC 139: Shogun vs Henderson

•November 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold its next event, UFC 139, this Saturday, November 19th, at the HP  Pavilion in San Jose, California.  This will be the first time the UFC has come to San Jose, although it has been a popular venue for other MMA fights. There are no championship fights on this card, but two of these fights will determine who gets the opportunity to fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight and Bantomweight Championship belts next.  In addition to these two fights, there is another Light Heavyweight fight, a Welterweight fight, and a Middleweight fight on the main fight card. The main event is a Light Heavyweight fight between two of the most well-known fighters in the UFC.  This is a fight that fans have been wanting to see for many years, and now they will finally get their opportunity.  Here is a breakdown of the main fight card that Dana White and the UFC have scheduled for UFC 139: Shogun vs Henderson.

The main event – Light Heavyweight bout:  Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (20-5-0) vs Dan “Hendo” Henderson (28-8-0)

UFC Light Heavyweight fighter Mauricio RuaMauricio Rua is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, and wants his opportunity to regain that title.  With a win this Saturday, he will have his opportunity.  Rua is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai.  Rua had his first professional fight just before his 21st birthday.  Fighting professionally for 9 years, he is just coming into his prime at 29, and he is one of the strongest in his weight class.  He will be fighting someone who may be past their prime at 41 years old.

Rua is famous for his wild, aggressive style, and has been known to use stomps and kicks on downed opponents.  He has quick hands, throws punches in bunches, and will need to use these to his advantage in a standup fight.  He also has power in both hands, and good ground and pound to finish fights.  Rua is better than his opponent at Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai, but he is focusing on his boxing for this fight.  He is also working on his agility in order to move better and be quicker than his opponent. Rua would like to avoid his opponents heavy hands and possible takedown attempts.

Rua is 4-3 since signing with the UFC, but two of those losses were for the Light Heavyweight Championship.  Prior to the UFC, he was 12-1 in the Pride Fighting Championship, including winning the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Championship in 2005.  In his 20 wins, 17 have been by KO/TKO.  He is not too successful in takedown attempts, but typically doesn’t want his fights to go to the ground.  Defensively, he does not avoid as many strikes as he should due to his aggressiveness.  He has been taken down too easily by his opponents in previous fights.  In his five losses, Rua has been knocked out twice, submitted twice, and lost only one by decision.  His best chance to win this fight is to stay on his feet, but use his Muay Thai to keep his opponent off-balance.  He may want to show some caution in this fight in order to avoid getting hit with a knockout blow.  Rua says he wants to be the first to knock out Dan Henderson. Due to their similar aggressive fighting styles, this fight may end up being won by whoever strikes first.

UFC Light Heavyweight fighter Dan HendersonDan Henderson has had an illustrious 14 year MMA career, and has faced many of the top MMA fighters in the world.  Prior to that, he was a successful wrestler whose career began in high school.  He went on to wrestle in college, and was a gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Pan American Championships.  He is the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, and former Pride Fighting Championship Welterweight, and Middleweight Champion.  He wants to add the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship to his titles, and a win would put him in contention.

Henderson is 41 years old, but says he is not done yet.  He is obviously a supreme wrestler, but also has good boxing skills with knockout power in both hands.  His overhand right may be the most powerful pound for pound in the UFC.  He keeps a low stance and also uses his left hook effectively as well.  Out of his 28 wins, 13 have been by KO/TKO, and 13 by decision.  Henderson has amazing ground and pound as well, and can finish a fight in a hurry.  He has an iron chin, and although he has been rocked several times, he has never suffered a KO or TKO in his career.  Out of his 8 career losses, 3 have been by submission and 5 by decision.  He has an amazing ability to recover quickly, and always comes into his fights in great condition.

Henderson is 3-0 since turning 40, and is 6-1 in his last 7 fights.  He is not an overly effective striker, but is a good dirty boxer, and his power compensates for his ineffectiveness.  Being a fighter that mainly moves forward, he also is not great at avoiding strikes.  He is fairly successful with his takedown attempts, but typically likes to stand and punch just like Rua.  With his wrestling experience, he has very good takedown defense.  Henderson is not a submission guy, and will look to stand and throw punches.  He will either look for a knockout punch, or take his opponent to the ground and pound him to a TKO.

Middleweight bout: Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (33-11-1, 1NC) vs Cung Le (7-1-0)

UFC Middleweight Fighter Wanderlei SilvaWanderlei Silva started training in MMA at 13 because he said when he was little he was short and fat.  He spent his early MMA career fighting in Brazil, then in Tokyo with the Pride Fighting Championship organization.  He was the Pride Middleweight Champion from 2001 to 2007, and holds the record for most wins and knockouts in Pride history.  He was unbeaten, with 16 wins, between August 2000 and October 2004.  Silva fought in the UFC one time back in 1998, but didn’t return to the UFC until 2007.  Back in the UFC, Silva is 2-4, and has dropped down from Light Heavyweight to Middleweight.  Although he has had a decorated fight history, he seems to be at a crossroads in his career.  Starting off with a 27-3-1 (1NC) professional MMA record, he is only 6-8 in his last 14 fights.  Sylva is 35, and has had 46 professional MMA fights.

Silva has world-class experience, is a Muay Thai specialist, and is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He is an intense fighter with good striking and precise technique.  He loves to engage his opponents, punch, and throw knees in the clinch.  He is what you would call a dirty boxer, but it works for him and his aggressive style.  Out of his 33 wins, 24 have been by knockout, but he has also been knocked out in 6 of his 11 losses.  Silva has pretty good striking defense, but can be taken down.  Silva says he wants to test the chin of Le, and wants to have the fight of the year.  He may need it if he intends to remain in the UFC.  Look for Silva to try to get in tight with his opponent.  He will look to end the fight early with knees and upper cuts in the clinch against the fence.

UFC Middleweight fighter Cung LeCung Le is from San Jose, and will be fighting in the UFC for the first time.  At 39, he is no spring chicken, but he has been training in martial arts since he was very young.  He was enrolled in Taekwondo at an early age to deal with bullies and racism at his school.  He was an All-American wrestler in high school, and also wrestled in junior college.  Le is a black belt in Taekwondo, blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and experienced in Sanshou.  He was undefeated (17-0) in his kickboxing career from 1997 to 2004.  Le didn’t begin his professional MMA career until just before his 35th birthday.  He won the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship in only his sixth professional fight.  He has amassed a 7-1 record, with every win coming by knockout.

Le is a striking expert, with some serious leg kicks that can end a fight.  He also has good power in his punches.  Le should be quicker than his opponent, and should have the endurance to outlast his opponent if the fight goes three rounds.  Although he lacks the experience in the Octagon, Le has plenty of fighting experience.  He will try to win the fight by using his quickness and leg kicks to keep his distance from the power of Silva.  Then Le will look for his opportunities to strike, and wear down Silva throughout the fight.  If Le can survive the early onslaught, I think he can endure and come up with a win.

Bantomweight bout: Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (25-5-0) vs Brian Bowles (10-1-0)

UFC Bantomweight fighter Urijah FaberUrijah Faber was previously the WEC Featherweight title holder, and successfully defended that title five times.  Faber started wrestling in the eighth grade and continued throughout his college days at Division I, UC Davis.  Shortly after graduating in 2003, he started training in MMA.  Faber is a very well-rounded fighter, with a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He has the ability to adapt to a variety of situations, and is a strong fighter for his size.  He can beat you with his lightning fast hands, his strong takedowns, or his effective submissions.

Faber won his first 8 fights, lost one, then won his next 13 fights while becoming the WEC Featherweight Champion.  After starting his career 21-1, his record is 4-4 since then. He has won 13 fights by submission and 7 by knockout, and he has never been submitted. Faber is a good standup striker, and okay at defending strikes.  He is not very successful with his takedowns, but about as good as his opponent at defending the takedown.  He has a solid punch, and will surely be in good enough shape to go hard the entire fight. Faber lost his last fight, for the Bantomweight Championship, and he wants an opportunity to win that belt back as soon as possible.

Both Faber and his opponent have an aggressive offensive approach, so it will be interesting to see who wins the middle of the ring.  Faber feels that he is more creative, faster, and stronger than his opponent.  He will need to defend against the big punch, and stay on his feet.  Later in the fight, Faber might look for a takedown, and a submission, which may be the exact same approach his opponent may have.

UFC Bantomweight fighter Brian BowlesWith only eight professional MMA fights under his belt, Brian Bowles is a well-rounded fighter with a lot of drive and ambition.  He joined his wrestling team in high school because he was sort-of a loner.  One of his wrestling buddies got him interested in MMA several years later. Since then, Bowles has become a skilled wrestler and kickboxer.  He is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is also very strong for his size.  He is proficient in his standup boxing, and has good submission skills. He is also furious with his ground and pound, and does not quit.  He has heavy hands, uses his knees, and locks in his submission chokes when he sees the opportunity.  He won his first 7 amateur fights, and in only his eighth professional fight, he won the WEC Bantomweight Championship by way of knockout.  Bowles has a great guillotine choke, and has won 6 of his 11 fights by submission.  He also hits with power, and has 3 wins by knockout.  His only loss was due to a doctor stoppage when he broke his hand.

Bowles is a warrior that goes for the kill and wants to finish fights.  He might possibly be the hardest hitter in the 135lb division.  Bowles is a good striker, and is also good at avoiding strikes.  He is successful at taking down his opponents when he decides to do so.  With his wrestling experience, he is good at avoiding the takedown.  Bowles says there is no way Faber wants to win this fight more than him.  With a similar fighting style, look for Bowles to try to out box Faber and avoid any serious damage.  If he rocks Faber, look for Bowles to take it to the ground, and either submit him, or ground and pound Faber for a TKO.  Bowles has not had one of his 11 fights go the distance, and this fight shouldn’t make it to a judges decision either.  The winner of this fight will get the next shot at the Bantomweight title.

Below is the list of the remaining UFC fights on the card for UFC 139 Shogun vs Henderson:

Preliminary card (Facebook)

  • Lightweight bout: Shamar Bailey vs. Danny Castillo
  • Welterweight bout: Matt Brown vs. Seth Baczynski
  • Bantamweight bout: Miguel Torres vs. Nick Pace
  • Lightweight bout: Gleison Tibau vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Middleweight bout: Tom Lawlor vs. Chris Weidman

Preliminary card (televised)

  • Bantamweight bout: Michael McDonald vs. Alex Soto
  • Light Heavyweight bout: Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz

Main card

  • Light Heavyweight bout: Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury
  • Welterweight bout: Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story

UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos

•November 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is hosting UFC on Fox: Velaszuez vs Dos Santos.  This will be the debut of the UFC on the Fox Network (network television), and is a huge step in attempting to mainstream the UFC.  What makes this event even more special is that the UFC Heavyweight Championship will be on the line.  This heavyweight title fight will be the only fight televised, but there will be several other fights on the preliminary card. One of those fights will be a lightweight fight to determine who will get the next title shot at Frankie Edgar. The UFC on Fox event takes place on Saturday, November 12, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.  This is the first fight on the Fox Network since Fox and the UFC signed a recent television contract to air the UFC on network television.  Take a look at the analysis of the main fight that Dana White and the UFC have scheduled for UFC on Fox 1.

The main event – Heavyweight bout:  Cain Velasquez (9-0-0) vs Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (13-1-0)

UFC Heavyweight fighter Cain VelasquezCain Velasquez is the current UFC Heavyweight Champion, and is undefeated in his professional MMA career at 9-0. Velasquez was a two-time state champion wrestler in high school, and also played football.  He went on to become a junior college national champion, and a two-time Division 1 All-American wrestler. After graduating college, he joined American Kickboxing Academy and began his MMA career.  His first professional fight was in 2006 at age 24.  After two first round knockouts in his first two fights, Velasquez made his UFC debut in 2008 in only his third professional fight.  Eight of his 9 wins have been by knockout, and 6 have been in the first round.  Only one of his fights has gone the distance, and he has not lost a single round to date.  Although he obviously packs one of the most powerful punches in the UFC, Velasquez is a well-rounded fighter who is skilled in wrestling, Muay Thai, boxing, as well as being a brown belt in Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu.

Velazquez is a successful striker with obvious knockout power.  He also is pretty good at defending the strike.  An experienced wrestler, he has been successful at takedowns, and is pretty good at avoiding takedowns.  Look for Velasquez to obviously try and knock out his opponent with one of his heavy punches.  If he is unsuccessful at that, look for him to try and take down his opponent and secure a TKO with his devestating ground and pound.

Junior Dos Santos Heavyweight UFC FighterJunior Dos Santos is the number one heavyweight contender, and like his opponent, he also has hands of steel.  He began his MMA career in 2006 at age 21, fighting in local Brazilian promotions. After amassing a 6-1 record, he had his first UFC fight in 2008.  Out of his 13 overall wins, 8 have been by knockout, 3 by decision, and 2 by submission.  Ten of his wins have ended in the first round, and he is undefeated (7-0) since joining the UFC.  His only career loss was by submission over four years ago.  Dos Santos is a skilled boxer with great strength and athleticism.  He is very quick for his size, and is also a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Dos Santos is a very effective striker with some of the best boxing in the UFC, as well as some destructive knees.  He is a great counter puncher, has a solid uppercut, and should be able to use his quickness to his advantage.  Like his opponent, he possesses good striking defense.  Without the wrestling pedigree of his opponent, Dos Santos does not attempt many takedowns, but when he does, he has been very successful.  He also has excellent takedown defense.  Look for Dos Santos to try and keep this fight standing, and look for him to out box his opponent, and set up the big knockout punch. Dos Santos may also get into clinches in which he will use his knees to damage his opponent.

Both fighters will be looking to end the fight with an early knockout.  If it doesn’t happen, Velasquez will look for a takedown and ground and pound, while Dos Santos will try and keep the fight standing and out box Velasquez.  Although this UFC Heavyweight Championship fight is scheduled for 5 rounds, don’t expect this fight to end up going longer than 2 or 3 rounds.

Below is the list of the remaining UFC fights on the card for UFC on Fox Velaszuez vs Dos Santos:

Preliminary card (Facebook and FoxSports.com)

  • Light Heavyweight bout: Aaron Rosa vs. Matt Lucas
  • Welterweight bout: Mike Pierce vs. Paul Bradley
  • Bantamweight bout: Alex Caceres vs. Cole Escovedo
  • Featherweight bout: Mackens Semerzier vs. Robert Peralta
  • Bantamweight bout: Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Darren Uyenoyama
  • Welterweight bout: DaMarques Johnson vs. Clay Harvison
  • Featherweight bout: Cub Swanson vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Featherweight bout: Dustin Poirier vs. Pablo Garza
  • Lightweight bout: Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson

UFC 137 Penn vs Diaz

•October 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is hosting UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, October 29, 2011.  There will be no championship bouts on this fight card, but many of the fights will determine who may have the next opportunity to fight for a UFC Championship.  Georges St. Pierre was scheduled to defend his title at UFC 137, but had to withdraw due to a knee injury.  There are two heavyweight battles on the main fight card, with one featherweight and bantomweight fight.  The main event will be a welterweight fight between two of the most well-known fighters in the UFC.  Here is an analysis of the fights that Dana White and the UFC have scheduled for UFC 137.

The main event – Welterweight bout:  BJ “The Prodogy” Penn (16-7-2) vs Nick Diaz (26-7-1)

UFC Welterweight BJ PennBJ Penn is a two-time UFC Champion.  He is coming off a draw in his last fight, and is 3-3-1 in his last seven fights.  Penn has implemented a new cardiovascular program that should help with his stamina.  He has a good standup game with a respectable jab, but could be better at defending strikes.  He also has good kicks and knees when you try to get him in a clinch.  He is a very technical fighter, and is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  If Penn gets you down, he has precise submission skills and can also ground and pound with the best of them.  He also has a very strong chin, and is incredibly flexible and agile.  Because of his flexibility, he is not easy to take down. Out of his 16 wins, he has seven by KO, and six by submission.  Out of his seven losses, five have been by decision. Look for Penn to try and out-box his opponent, look for a takedown, and finish the fight with a submission, although Diaz has never been submitted in his career.

UFC Welterweight Nick DiazNick Diaz was a troubled youth who discovered Jiu-Jitsu and MMA as a way to defend himself.  He began fighting MMA professionally at 18, and found early success. He always felt that he could win by training harder than anyone else.  He won the inaugural WEC Welterweight Championship, and the inaugural Strikeforce Welterweight Championship.  Diaz has won ten fights in a row, and this will be his UFC comeback fight.  He has not fought in the UFC since 2006, and feels that he has something to prove.  He is a very similar fighter to Penn, but is taller and thinner.  He has an unorthodox style and excellent cardio.  He is a scrappy fighter who goes to the body well.  Diaz is not as good of a striker as Penn, but he is better at avoiding strikes.  He is also not as successful with his takedowns, but just as good as Penn at defending takedowns.  In his 25 wins, Diaz has won 13 by KO, and eight by submission.  Of his seven losses, five have been by decision. Look for Diaz to try and out-box Penn, and eventually take Penn down.  If he can get a takedown on Penn, Diaz will look to ground and pound for a TKO, but that will be a very difficult task.

Heavyweight bout: Cheick Kongo (26-6-2)   vs   Matt Mitrione  (5-0-0)

UFC Heavyweight Cheick KongoCheick Kongo began training in martial arts at the age of 5.  He is currently a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is also skilled in Muay Thai, Savate, Kickboxing, and Wrestling.  Kongo has dangerous legs, and can punish his opponents with his fists.  He has won 11 of his last 16 fights, and his last win was one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history.  Kongo is very efficient with his striking, but could be better at defending strikes.  He is also decent at taking his opponents down.  He is not good at defending the takedown, but fortunately his opponent, Matt Mitrione, won’t be looking for a takedown.  Kongo has 10 knockouts out of his 16 wins, while four of his six losses have been by decision.  He can attack from different angles, and is dangerous with his kicks, knees, punches, and elbows. Kongo is very focused and dedicated, and feels this is his time to become champion. Kongo feels that he is in the best shape of his life, and will be looking to knock out Mitrione.

UFC Heavyweight Matt MitrioneMatt Mitrione was a professional football player, and didn’t have his first professional MMA fight until the age of 31.  He was a contestant on season 10 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.  Mitrione is skilled in kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and wrestling, but mainly likes to throw down punches.  He is strong and athletic, with a good chin.  He currently has an undefeated record, with four of his five wins coming by knockout. He has not fought any of the upper echelon heavyweights in the UFC, and this will be his first real test.  He has had great success with his boxing, and is also good at defending strikes.  He has never even attempt to takedown his opponent, but could be a little better at defending the takedown.  Mitrione is an aggressive fighter, and wants to stand and throw punches against Kongo.  That may not be the best strategy given the power of Kongo.  If Mitrione can land some early blows, he may be able to end the fight in the first round.  If not, he may have the endurance to out score Kongo with his striking in a decision.

Heavyweight bout: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (27-9-2, 1NC) vs Roy “Big Country” Nelson (16-6-0)

UFC Heavyweight Mirko FilipovicMirko Filipovic is one of the most feared strikers in the UFC. He is famous for his head kicks, which are devastating.  He has a black belt in Taekwondo, and started training in kickboxing back in 1994.  He fought professionally in K-1 from 1996-2001, and then made the switch to MMA and the Pride Fighting Championship.  While at Pride, Filipovic became the Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion, and amassed an 18-4-2 record. He is only 4-5 in the UFC, and is 5-3-1 in his last 9 MMA fights. Filipovic has experience, but is getting up there in age, and you begin to wonder how strong his desire is.  Out of his 27 wins, 20 have been by KO.  Four of his nine losses have come by KO, and three by decision.  He is at his best standing and striking, and is just okay at avoiding strikes.  He is successful with takedowns, but does not attempt them too often, as he would rather be standing and fighting.  He is very good at avoiding being taken down by his opponent.  Filipovic has good conditioning and likes to sprawl and brawl.  Look for him to try and end the fight with either an overwhelming kick, or a destructive knock out punch.

UFC Heavyweight Roy 'Big Country' NelsonDo not let his appearance fool you.  Roy Nelson is an athlete. Nelson wrestled, played football, and baseball in high school.  He is also experienced in Shaolin Kung Fu, is a Black Belt in Roi Kan Do and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and has trained with some of the world’s best MMA fighters.  Nelson is a grappler with an iron chin and the heart of a lion.  He started fighting to pay his bills.  Nelson was the former IFC Heavyweight Champion, and was the winner of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ series, season 10.  He is 2-4 in his last six fights, but won five in a row prior to that. Eight of his 15 wins have come by KO, and five by submission.  Out of his six losses, five have been by decision.  Nelson claims to have a harder punch than Cro Cop, and says his favorite technique is the face punch. He has been very effective with his boxing skills.  He doesn’t worry too much about his defense because he is usually on the attack.  Nelson has not attempted too many takedowns, but can be taken down himself.  Nelson is looking to get back on track after losing two fights in a row, and would love to make a statement by knocking out Cro Cop.

Below is the list of the remaining UFC fights on the card for UFC 137 Penn vs Diaz:

Main card

  • Bantomweight bout: Scott Jorgensen vs. Jeff Curran
  • Featherweight bout: Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop

Preliminary card (Facebook)

  • Middleweight bout: Dustin Jacoby vs. Clifford Starks
  • Middleweight bout: Chris Camozzi vs. Francis Carmont
  • Lightweight bout: Ramsey Nijem vs. Danny Downes
  • Light Heavyweight bout: Brandon Vera vs. Eliot Marshall

Preliminary card (Spike TV)

  • Featherweight bout: Tyson Griffin vs. Bart Palaszewski
  • Lightweight bout: Dennis Siver vs. Donald Cerrone

UFC 136 Prelims – Demian Maia vs Jorge Santiago

•October 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The UFC 136 prelims had a middleweight fight between Demian Maia and Jorge Santiago.  Demian Maia (14-3-0) had won 5 of his 8 UFC victories by submission, and is a feared grappler who has deadly submissions.  He has worked hard on his striking and his conditioning to make him a more well-rounded fighter.  Jorge “The SandmanSantiago (23-9-0) – has won 11 of his last 13 fights and is also a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He has good kicks, ground and pound, and striking.

UFC Middleweight Demian MaiaRound one saw both fighters beginning by throwing some heavy strikes. About a minute and a half into the fight, Demian Maia stepped in and got a takedown of Jorge Santiago.  Santiago was able to get back to his feet, and got Maia in a clinch against the fence.  They separated with just under two and a half minutes left and began exchanging blows again.  Maia landed a right hook that shook Santiago back against the fence briefly.  As Maia closed in for a takedown, he ran into a flying knee that fortunately landed more on his shoulder or the fight could have ended right then.  Maia ended up getting the takedown, and stayed on top of Santiago the remainder of the round.  Maia was only able to shell out limited damage, but Santiago spent a lot of time on his back.

UFC Middleweight Jorge SantiagoSantiago starts off strong in round two with several leg kicks.  They exchange punches, then get into a clinch with three minutes left.  Maia takes Santiago down from the clinch and starts landing some strikes, none of them too punishing.  Maia again finishes the rest of round two on top of Santiago, while he lay helpless, unable to escape from his back.

Again Santiago is the aggressor to start round three, but he gets caught in another clinch against the fence.  They separate and Maia goes for another takedown.  Still on their feet, Maia ends up in control from Santiago’s back with three and a half minutes left in the round.  Maia finally gets another takedown after working hard to secure it for about a minute.  Maia ends up doing some more damage to Santiago from top position until the fight ends.

Maia dominated the grappling and ground game, and ended up with the unanimous decision 30-27 from all three judges.  Although he didn’t get the submission, this should put Maia in good position to fight a top middleweight contender soon.

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