Thursday, July 9, 2009

UFC 100 (pt. 3)



Prior to the main event bouts, Dan Henderson collides with Michael Bisping in an intriguing match-up of vastly different styles. Hendo is one of the most decorated of MMA athletes, as he was the champion in two weight classes in Pride before climbing into the cage. Bisping is a charismatic fighter who sports an impressive record (18-1) with his only blemish coming as a split decision loss to Rashad Evans. He did struggle however against Matt Hamill one may call into question the quality of his opponents for the majority of his victories. Chris Leben is the only name that all but the most avid fans can retrieve from memory without consulting the record books. This bout is clearly an enormous step up in class for the Englishman.

Henderson will look to clinch and utilize his superior wrestling skills to control Bisping. His opponent should look to mix it up, strike, and scramble to avoid the dangerous Greco-Roman positions where Hollywood is lethal. The line has Henderson a slightly better than 2 to 1 favorite at -215 and a quick glance at his resume will validate that number.

I look for Dan to control the action early and then unleash a looping overhand right coming off the clinch that sends Bisping down for the "count" (pun intended !).....Hendo KO 2.


Monday, July 6, 2009

UFC 100 (pt. 2)



The co-main event of the evening pits Jackson Submission fighter Georges St. Pierre (Champion) against the #3 ranked Thiago "Pit Bull" Alves from American Top Team. GSP has dominated this division and recently dismantled the current gritty #2 Jon Fitch (also on the card). Considered by many at the top of the pound for pound best argument alongside Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianenko, it is no surprise that GSP is an overwhelming -300 to retain the belt.
Alves is an aptly nicknamed voracious competitor who has 4 quality wins over Koscheck, Parisyan, Hughes, and Lytle. He also battled Fitch valiantly yet was vanquished by a brutal up kick during a scramble. He blazes around the cage with a torrent pace that would even make Clay Guida take notice. This brings to mind a quote from GSP prior to facing an over matched Frank Trigg , "He can't andle my riddum" (sic). Alves most certainly can and thrives on tempo.
This is a fascinating matchup as I have learned in this sport that just when you start to consider a fighter virtually unbeatable it becomes time to re-size the belt. Sure GSP is well-rounded, exquisitely trained, and confident but I submit that the line in this fight is too high. 3-1 is tough to lay down against a young fireball who fights with conviction and the aforementioned pace. I do know a very savvy MMA virtuoso who is a sorcerer with underdogs who has taken Alves in this battle.
I think an extremely important factor in this fight is the height differential as GSP is a large Welterweight while Alves is rather short and compact. I'm obviously tempted to take the challenger in this bout but my final pick is going to be GSP as I wouldn't lay the wood but do think he simply has more ways to win. GSP late in the bout after being pressed by a game "Pit Bull"......

Saturday, July 4, 2009

UFC 100



UFC 100 sports an epic card with several fascinating matchups and the potential for two belts to change waists in the octagon. I expect this card to shatter pay per view records as most purist MMA fans would be remiss to not witness one of the most anticipated events in the eight sided cage's tumultuous history.

The heavyweight title fight is indeed an intriguing rematch as Las Vegas Combat Club's Frank Mir battles Minnesota Martial Arts monster Brock Lesnar. It is interesting to note that the MMA world rankings lists Mir as the #3 heavy and Lesnar #7 as Brock has beaten the #5 (Couture) and is a solid -220 favorite across numerous Vegas lines. The money has obviously disregarded both the prior outcome and the ranking ladder.

The keys to a Mir victory are bounteous while Lesnar's game plan appears simple and resembles the old Green Bay Packer power sweep as he will attempt to assert his size, brute strength, and athleticism to control the top and pummel Mir as he unleashes hammer fists that would make a carpenter jealous. Mir must counter with his world class JJ skills and transition effectively. He needs his top cardio fitness level to remain dangerous and seize any small advantage with superior submission techniques to throw a lock on Brock.

Mir is known to be a fight professor as he was remarkably proficient with his stand up striking and game plan against a heavily favored Nogueira in his last visit inside the cage. I suggest he review the Herring match in which Lesnar manhandled the Texas crazy horse. He also needs to flow like water during scrambles and avoid the type of punishment he took in his attempt at leg locks and heel hooks in the Freeman fight. Simply, he needs to assert himself mentally, and use his experience and tactical wisdom to give Lesnar threats from all angles while avoiding dangerous positions.

The MMA purists seem to love to hate Lesnar yet the line is telling you who the action is on. There is no way this one goes the distance and while it’s tough to bet against fighters greater than 2 to 1 favorites I'm going out on an arm-barred limb to pick the upset here as Mir the underdog submits the mammoth Viking midway thru round three.

- J.Seijas/