Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ultimate Fight Night

Tonight is the premier of the Ultimate Fight Night. SPIKE TV and UFC are combining to bring live MMA fights to cable tv. Tonight we will see some of the contenders from the reality show "The Ultimate Fighter" against people with UFC experience. All the contenders had MMA experience but they all also had some things they will have had to improve on to compete in the big leagues. Here's tonights lineup.....

Alex Karalexis vs. Kenny Florian
Both theses guys were contenders on the show. Florian made it to the finals and lost to Diego Sanchez, who will make his debut at the next UFC. Florian has good skills and usually fought at much lighter wieghts, compete on the show at 185 seemed to have him outmatched. I am anxious to see him at 170, I actually think he would be very competitive at 155. I think he will defeat Karalexis who also competed at the 185 wieght class and seemed overmatched. Karalexis was one of the newer cast members to the sport of MMA.

Mike Swick vs Gideon Ray
Mike Swick didn't really get much of a chance on the show to get going. He did show some thunder against Alex Schoenauer in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter. Mike has good striking skills and I look for him to showcase them tonight and defeat Gideon Ray early. Ray has one UFC under his belt and sports a record of 9-2-1.

Josh Koscheck vs Pete Spratt
Koscheck was one of the best athletes on The Ultimate Fighter. He is an incredibly talented wrestler who is transitioning to MMA. In the octagon he is known right now as a 1 dementional fighter. In the chat rooms he is known as "the blanket" due to his take downs and basically laying on his opponent. Josh is a great athlete and is going through the same transition pains that Randy Cotoure and Dan Severn (2 of the best in the UFC's history) went through when they transitions from wrestling to MMA. I believe Josh will also make that transition and be successful once he does. Tongiht will be a tough fight, Spratt is no pushover. Although he sports a record of 12-6 he's been in with some great fighters. 3 of his losses come against Chris Lytle, Carlos Newton and Georges St. Pierre, his most notable victory is against Ruthless Robbie Lawler. Kos has his work cut out for him. I Believe he will win but the fight will go the distance. This will be a great victory for him if it works out the way I see it.

Nate Quarry vs. Pete Sell
Quarry was probaly the best of the cast until a fluke training accident eliminated him from the competition. I believe we will see him fight Diego Sanchez, a match that surely would have happened on the show, very soon. Quarry has already fought and won in the UFC but he still has room to grow. He should defeat Sell and boost his career further. Sell has 1 victory in MMA but it came over Phil Baroni in the final seconds of a fight he may have lost had it gone to the scorecards. Quarry has good striking skills but if Baroni couldn't knock out Sell Quarry probably wont. Actually if Baroni couldn't knock him there might not be anyone on the face of the earth that can! (there are other articles about Baroni here if you'd like to read more about him). Sell will certainly get Quarry to the ground at some point in this fight and we'll be able to see a part of his game we have yet to see.

Sam Hogar vs. Stephan Bonnar
These 2 fighters were also on The Ultimate Fighter. Bonnar lost to Forrest Griffin in the final match in what many consider a top fight in the history of MMA. Bonnar showed tremendous heart in that victory. Hogar appears to me to be someone who lacks heart. He seemed to take the show lightly and he was elimeinated. Although he did come back and defeat Bobby Southworth in the finale I don't believe he will beat Bonnar.

Chris Leben vs. Patrick Cote
Leben was the biggest disapointment to me on The Ultimate Fighter. he lost to "the blanket" Koscheck and to Kenny Florian. Florian was getting pummeled in the fight when he landed a huge elbow that opened a cut over his eye, the Dr stopped the fight. Leben is known for being a warrior with great heart and excellent striking skills. I was dissapointed that he could not seem to mount anything against Koscheck. Although Kos didn't really do anything once on top Leben couldn'd get any kind of counter attack going. If you wish to be a striker in the UFC you have to have tremendous takedown defense against these grapplers. Cote will look to take Leben down early and often so it shouldn't take long to find out if he's improved this part of his game. I think Leben has the most difficult road of the fighter tonight. If victorious it will be a big one. Cote's notable fights include a decision loss to Tito Ortiz, just like the Quarry fight my gut tells me that if Ortiz couldn't knock out Cote Leben wont either. I hope I live to regret this but I think Leben will be on the losing end tonight. Both fighters have losses to Joe Doerkson.

Ivan Salaverry vs. Nathan Marquardt
Salaverry was featured in last weeks installment of "Unleashed". He's got a good background and won some big fights. Marquardt is a veteran of Pancrease and has a record of 19-6-2. Most of his fights have been abroad against japanese fighters so I don't know a whole lot about him. he was wrester as a senior in high school in Aurora, CO when I lived there many years ago. Salaverry's 11-3 record includes 4 previous fights in the UFC. I look for Salaverry to win the fight but I'm anxious to see Marquardt in the octagon.

Have fun.


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