Monday, January 30, 2006

UFC 57 - Liddell vs. Couture 3

This Saturday night brings us the next UFC, and possibly the most anticipated fight ever. With the growing talent in the MMA community many names stand out, but few shine as bright as Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. Tonight I'll be talking about a couple of the undercard fights, check back with me for the main event. If you like the big boys who swing for the knock out this is your night. 4 of these fights are heavyweight match ups with 4 others being light heavyweight bouts.

9 fights in all on this Saturday night, let's check them out.

The Card
Keith Jardine VS Mike Whitehead

Nick Diaz VS Joe Riggs

Jeff Monson VS Brandon Lee Hinkle

Paul Buentello VS Gilbert Aldana

Brandon Vera VS Justin Eilers

Alessio Sakara VS Elvis Sinosic

Renato Sobral VS Mike Van Arsdale

Frank Mir VS Marcio Cruz

Chuck Liddell VS Randy Couture

First up let's talk about the undercard match up between the former TUF season 2 fighters.

Keith Jardine

Keith Jardine fought in The Ultimate Fighter 2 in the Heavyweight division. Many picked him to win the whole thing. He brings some TV PPV experience via the King of the Cage tournaments where he is known for bringing a fast and furios pace to his fights. Keith is pretty well rounded as a fighter but prefers to end his fights fast and bloody with kicks and strikes. 5 of his 9 victories come from KO or TKO.

Mike Whitehead

Mike Whitehead was also in the heavyweight category fighting at 255 during The Ultimate Fighter. He is now slimmed down and fighting at 205. Although he is from Crater High School in Southern Oregon, rival to my own beloved Eagle Point High School (GO EAGLES!!!!) I do like Mike as a fighter. He didn't put on a good performance in the show and he'll be looking to correct that during his 1st UFC fight. Of his 4 losses keep in mind that 2 of them come from Tim Sylvia, he's kinda good being a former champ and all. Mike will not have an easy opponent in Keith Jardine but I do look for him to win the fight.

I really don't look for this fight to make it out of the 1st round. Both these fighters have plenty to show and regretably didn't show it during The Ultimate Fighter. The jitters should be gone and they should be ready to put on a show. Too bad this will be an undercard fight.

Next up we have Nick Diaz VS Joe Riggs.

Nick Diaz
Nick Diaz has been around the block. As Joe Rogan would say, he's got crazy gumby legs and a sick ground game. Don't let that ground game fool you, this lanky boy can throw some blows as well. If I were Nick Diaz I wouldn't try and trade with Joe Riggs. After Matt Hughes put a clinic on Riggs and made him look like a fish out of water on his back Diaz should look to get this to the ground quick.

Joe Riggs

Joe "Diesel" Riggs comes to throw punches. He's incredibly well rounded for being known as just a striker, 52% KO's and 43% submissions if you add up his victories. After a dissapointing loss to Matt Hughes came 1 night after loosing his shot at the title due to not making his weigh in (1 pound over) he will be looking to get himself another shot at the title. Hughes made quick work of him, seemed to control him from the very begining of the fight until the submission.

I look for Diaz to take it to the ground early and be too much for Riggs. Diaz has thought for quite sometime that he deserves a shot at the title. A quick win over someone who just fought Matt Hughes may get him that opportunity in the near future.

Jeff Monson VS Brandon Lee Hinkle.

Jeff Monson
Jeff "The Snowman" Monson is a wrestler out of Washington. He's had a couple of fights in the UFC back in 2000 and 2002. 2 of his 3 fights he ended up on the wrong end of Chuck Liddel and Ricco Rodriguez. But he did got the distance with Chuck, something only a couple of people have been able to do. With only 1 KO in his 19 victories you can bet he'll be looking to take the fight to the ground early.

Brandon Lee Hinkle
Brandon Lee Hinkle had a less than impressive performance with a TKO victory over Sean Gannon at UFC 55. Both Hinkle and Gannon looked to be terribly out of shape upon entering this fight. Hinkle was able to end it inthe 1st round which was probably good for both of them, I don't know that either one of them would have got off their stools for the 2nd round.

I look for "The Snowman" to put the freeze on "The Iron Lion" at UFC 57.

Paul Buentello VS Gilbert Aldana.

Paul Buentello
Paul "The Headhunter" Buentello will be looking to make up for his 15 second 1st punch KO loss to Anrdei Arlovsky. If Arlovsky through a punch at me last fall I probably wouldn't be up yet! Buentello is. Buentello is known for having a rock hard chin and a big punch. Only 1 of his 27 fights have gone the distance so if you like knock outs you should tune in for this one.

No Picture Available.
Gilbert Aldana
Gilbert Aldana is getting a great opportunity here. With only 5 fights (5 wins and 5 KO's) to his name he is fighting someone who was in the ring with the champ just a couple months ago. If you add them up his 5 fights lasted a total of 3 minutes and 43 seconds. That's right, he don't like to go the distance either.

This should be a great fun fight, and ummmmm. DON'T BLINK! I am going to go with an underdog pick of Aldana on this one. Buentello will be fired up after his loss but this kid has everything to gain and not to much to loose in this fight.

I'm hoping to have the rest of the fights mapped out tomorrow evening so check them out! Thank you to Sherdog for the profiles and some of the pictures, the UFC provided the rest of the pictures.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A translation of Rap song lyrics from Ebonics to standard English.

Artist: Notorious B.I.G.
Album: Ready to Die
Song: One more chance (remix)

First things first, I poppa, freaks all the honeys
Dummies - playboy bunnies, those wantin’ money
Those the ones I like ‘cause they don’t get nathan’
But penetration, unless it smells like sanitation
Garbage, I turn like doorknobs
Heart throb, never, black and ugly as ever
However, I stay coochied down to the socks
Rings and watch filled with rocks


As a general rule, I perform deviant sexual acts with women of all
kinds, including but not limited to those with limited intellect,
nude magazine models, and prostitutes. I particularly enjoy sexual
encounters with the latter group as they are generally disappointed
in the fact that they only receive penile intercourse and nothing
more, unless of course, they douche on a consistent basis. Although I
am extremely unattractive, I am able to engage in these types of
sexual acts with some regularity. Perhaps my sexuality is somehow
related to my fancy and expensive jewelry.


And my jam knock in the Mitsubishi
Girls pee pee when they see me, Nava-hoes creep me in they tee pee
As I lay down laws like I lay carpet
Stop it - if you think your gonna make a profit


I enjoy playing my music loudly on my car stereo. Apparently, women
enjoy this also because they become sexually aroused when they see me
driving. Oddly enough, when I visit the Native American reservations,
some of the more sexually promiscuous Indian women attempt to seduce
me in their homes. Their intent is to divest me of my earnings. Such
actions are unacceptable.


Don’t see my ones, don’t see my guns - get it
Now tell ya friends Poppa hit it then split it
In two as I flow with the Junior Mafia
I don’t know what the hell’s stoppin’ ya
I’m clockin’ ya - Versace shades watchin’ ya
Once ya grin, I’m in game, begin


Understand this fact: you can have neither my money, nor my weapons.
I suggest that you inform your peers that we engaged in violent
sexual acts. Currently, I am rapping with my associates, the Junior
Mafia. I’m having some difficulty understanding why you refuse to
approach me. I am attempting to make eye contact with you through my
expensive glasses, and as soon as you respond with a smile, I will
approach you.


First I talk about how I dress and this
And diamond necklaces - stretch Lexuses
The sex is just immaculate from the back I get
Deeper and deeper - help ya reach the
Climax that your man can’t make
Call and tell him you’ll be home real late
Let’s sing the break


I prefer to open the conversation with light banter about my wardrobe
and jewelry, then I like to discuss my collection of expensive cars.
This is more than enough to convince you to have sexual intercourse
with me. I am able to insert my penis further into you when I enter
you from behind. Furthermore, you will be able to reach orgasm. I
understand this to be a problem with your current sexual partner. He
needn’t be concerned about your whereabouts. Please phone him and
inform him that you won’t be home for a while. By the way, please
sing the chorus of the song for me also.


She’s sick of that song on how it’s so long
Thought he worked his until I handled my biz
There I is - major pain like Damon Wayans
Low down dirty even like his brother Keenan
Schemin’ - don’t bring your girl ‘round me
True player for real, ask Puff Daddy


Your current love interest no longer wishes to hear your fabrications
about the length of your member. After I had sexual intercourse with
your woman, she became enlightened as to the proper way it is
supposed to be performed; violently and immorally. It would be in
your best interest to keep your woman away from me as my sexual
prowess is very strong. If you are unconvinced, ask Puff Daddy.


You - ringin’ bells with bags from Chanel
Baby Benz, traded in your Hyundai Excel
Fully equipped, CD changer with the cell
She beeped me, meet me at twelve


Despite the fact that you attempted to win her at her doorstep with
bags full of expensive clothes and a car (the lower end model
Mercedes Benz which you financed by signing over your current
vehicle) containing an expensive stereo and a cellular phone, your
woman has contacted me through my pager indicating that we should
rendezvous at midnight.


Where you at? Flippin’ jobs, playin’ car notes?
While I’m swimmin’ in ya women like the breast stroke
Right stroke, left stroke what’s the best stroke
Death stroke - tongue all down her throat
Nuthin’ left to do but send her home to you
I’m through - can ya sing the song for me, boo?


You, on the other hand, jump from job to job, barely able to maintain
payments on the Mercedes Benz you purchased for your woman.
Meanwhile, I continue to engage in sexual intercourse and commit lewd
osculatory acts with your women. My only remaining option is to
request that she leave my home and return to you because I have
reached orgasm and no longer have a need for her presence.


So, what’s it gonna be? Him or me?
We can cruise the world with pearls
Gator boots for girls
The envy of all women, crushed linen
Cartier wrist-wear with diamonds in ‘em
The finest women I love with a passion
Ya man’s a wimp, I give that ass a good thrashin’


The ultimate decision rests with you. Whom do you choose as your
sexual partner. I can take you on cruises around the world. I will
dress you in the finest jewelry and footwear. You will be envied by
women worldwide in your fine clothes and jewelry. There is a special
place in my heart for beautiful women. I will defeat your man in an
altercation because he is effeminate.


High fashion - flyin’ into all states.
Sexin’ me while your man masturbates.
Isn’t this great? Your flight leaves at eight.
Her flight lands at nine, my game just rewinds.
Lyrically I’m supposed to represent.
I’m not only the client, I’m the player president


You will be dressed in finest clothes on the runways of Paris. I will
fly you to every state to shop for fine clothes and jewelry. You will
enjoy sexual intercourse with me and your man will be forced to
pleasure himself through manual stimulation. What a life! I’ll return
you to LaGuardia in time to catch your 8 o’clock flight. The timing
is perfect because I have scheduled a date with a second woman who
arrives at the same gate at 9 o’clock. I’ll seduce her in the same
way that I seduced you. I rap well and I am a positive reflection of
my home town. Not only am I a sexually deviant, misogynistic,
immoral, wealthy, male prostitute, but I also sit on the board of
directors of the organization that governs others of my kind.

Monday, January 16, 2006

5-3 on the night

inthe final match Sylvia defeated Silva, say that 3 times fast! It as an unimpressive fight for Sylvia who usually throws his jab with a little more conviction. he used his height and reach to control the shorter man very successfully, just doesn't make it so exciting. And hey, the little guy can take a punch.

Sylvia by unanomous decision.

Stephan Bonnar claims victory

Great tactiacl fight that really showcases the ease of Brazilian Jui Jitsu. Irvin, a striker by nature has literally no power and no options from his back. Once Bonnar took him to the ground he just eased into the submission. This also shows how a weaker person, Bonnar, can easily submit and control a stronger person by using leverage. Irvin was defensless after Bonnar got the Kimura in.

Nice Victory.

I'm now 4-3 on the night with my 5 prediction to come true shortly!

Big Announcement

OK, cool announcement but not historic. The UFC is bringing back Royce Gracie, who won 3 of the 1st 5 UFC's. The Gracie's brought the UFC to the USA. Iwas fortunate to see the 1st 2 events live as they werein Devner, CO. royce will come back to fight the Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes.

I'm a little excited about all this, sorry!

Burkman with the victory!

Josh Burkman lands an early guillitine choke to take the victory and bring me back to even on my predictions.

Leben wins

Leben bring mynight back to the good side with a win inthe 1st round over Jorge Rivera. just when it looked like Rivera had landed a cople Leben unloads a left hand that sends him to the canvas.

If you are not watching you should be.

Melvin loses!

Josh Neer lands a triangle choke on Melvin Guillard at 4:20 in the 1st round. I am now 1-3 in my predictions. Tough night! Started off 2006 good and now I'm slacking off. Melvin has had a tough year. Broke his hand during The Ultimate Fighter show and then returned home only to get mauled by Hurrican Katrina, he's from New Orleans. He's been training with a fellow Ultimate Fighter out of his house in Salt Lake City, UT.

UFN update

Another incorrect prediction, not doing so well coming off my 11-1 predictions during PRIDE on New Years Day. Ludwig gets dropped at 11 seconds of the 1st round by a punch from Goulet, fight over.

Ultimate Fight Night 2nd fight

The second fight of the night brings my 1st bad prediction. Spencer Fisher was able to stop Aaron Riley at the end of the 1st round. The Doctor recommended that Riley not continue the fight at the begining of the second round.

The Ultimate Fight Night Begins

OK, so it's jsut the undercard that begins but it's a good one for the schwam of mma. In the 1st fight Jason Von Flue defeats Alex Karalexis at 1:17 of the 3rd round by rear naked choke. Now this was a TKO choke which normally means he did not tapout, he actually went unconcious (or however you spell that!).

If you are not tuned into SPIKE, right now they are showing the replay of the best of UFC 2005. At 9:00 (nashvegas time) they will begin the live fighting.

Fight #1 brings a correct prediction.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ultimate Fight Night 3

On Monday, January 16, Spike TV will bring it's next installment of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to cable television. This card looks to be a good one. I will again encourage anyone who has never seen it to check it out. It's a good way to learn about the sport without having to fork over that 30 bucks for a PPV. Here's how the card breaks down. If the fights aren't enough and you are in it for the drama the UFC has promised that it will make it's biggest announcement ever during this broadcast. (On a side note I do not like the fact that Dana White has choosen to go the WWE route with some of this announcement stuff, but he makes a lot more money than me so whatever!)

Undercard - Will only get aired if time permits. (Which is usually never!)

Melvin Guillard vs Josh Neer
This will be a classic striker vs grappler. Melvin will come out early looking to dominate with explosive punches, Neer will have to last through that 1st part of the match and then try and get Melvin on the defensive by taking him down. Although Melvin is seen as a striker he was a wrester growing up so it's not completely foriegn territory for him. I give the edge to Melvin in this one.

Jonathan Goulet vs Duane Ludgwig
Ludwig has only fought a couple of times the last 2 years, he may be a little rusty. His last win was in April of 2003. He is also giving up a couple of inches of height to Goulet. Goulet is coming in with 10 straight wins in MMA. I look for Goulet to control this fight, get it on the ground and pummel untill he comes away with a TKO.

Alex Karalexis vs Jason Von Flue
Alex Karalexis has never impressed me, since his debut on The Ultimate Fighter 1 to his fights since. To me he just doesn't have the heart to be in there. Which is odd because it takes a tremendous amount of heart just to step in that octagon. Von Flue on the other hand doesn't know the word quit. He's willing to take a beating to give one. On this night I don't believe he will need to take a beating, his pace should be enough to kepp Karalexi going backword and not posing much of a threat.

Chris Leben vs Jorge Rivera
Leben, a team Quest fighter is going to be my favorite, you know this! Rivera has a good record and has beat some good opponents, I haven't been impressed with him when I've seen him but I know he's got some skills I haven't seen. He went almost a full 3 rounds with Rich Franklin so you know he's got a chin. Leben and Rivera are both willing to stand and trade blows, this should be an exciting fight and I hope that it is the 1st televised fight rather than the last undercard fight but I'm not 100% sure which it is.

Drew Fickett vs Josh Burkman
Another classic striker vs grappler. Like the earlier fight Burkman will need to jump right on Fickett and try to end it quick. Fickett will look to get this on the ground and work his BJJ magic. In his last fight Fickett was dominated by Koscheck for about 14 and 1/2 minutes. Unfortunately for Koscheck these fights last 15 minutes and he was Rear Naked Choked with 22 seconds left in the fight. You can't take a break with the good submission artists, it only takes a second. Fickett has the skill and the experience but I'm looking for an upset from Burkman. This will do a lot for his career.

Spencer Fisher vs Aaron Riley
This should also be a pretty good match up. Riley has been working the international circuit of fighting while Fisher has stayed home. Riley has about twice the experience and has been in the ring with some big punchers. This may turnout to be one of those "boring" fights if you don't like the technique involved in the ground game, I love them. I look for Rileyto still be fresh late in the game and dominate the 3rd round for victory.

Stephan Bonnar vs James Irvin
I hope Bonnar kicks Irvins ass! Rare for me to say as I pretty much like most all the fighters, I don't like Irvin. I don't like the few fighters that come off so arrogant and don't bring the respect into the ring that drew me to this sport from the very begining. After his flying knee knock out, one of the best in UFC history, he just came off like an ass. Bonnar put on one of the best fights in the UFC when he went the distance with Forrest Griffin, he lost the close decision in that fight. He will stand and through blows with anyone. I want to see him turn the lights out on the Sandman.

Tim Sylvia vs Assuerio Silva
How do you fight Tim Sylvia? He's 6 foot 8 inches and 260 pounds. Arlovsky beat him by landing a big punch early and catching him with an Achilles lock. Mir beat him with a surprizing arm bar that actually broke his arm, although he protested and wanted to continue. He's freakishly strong and tough. Personally I would bring a hand full of sand in with me and through it at him, and then run away like a little school girl! That may be the only way Silva comes out of this thing alive. Silva has been fighting internationally and has a good record. But coming in 9 inches shorter this grappler will have to have some magic to get The Maniac to the ground. I look for Sylvia's jab to work, over and over and over again!

That's it kids!

Peace and Humptiness forever!

Friday, January 13, 2006

So you think my sport is too violent?

It is very common for people to tell me that Mixed Martial Arts, the sport I train in and write about, is too violent. The human cock fight. Modern day gladiator games. Just to name a few things I hear on a fairly regular basis. Now that another year has passed and another year with 0 deaths in my sport. At least 8 people lost their lives in boxing and toughman this year alone.

Before we get into other sports let me go through some things you may or may not know.

The Gloves -
In MMA (mixed martial arts) we wear 4oz gloves. These are designed, like boxing gloves, to protect the hand not the head. Boxers typically where 12-16oz gloves, tough man competitions will typically 18oz gloves. All gloves are designed to protect the hands! More padding = more safety, right? Wrong! It is medically safer to get knocked out cold than it is to continue taking those shots. The 12-18oz gloves due make the punch softer and lighter, but not by much. Just enough to take some of the edge off and prevent more KO's. A knock out is a physical reaction to trauma, just like any other bodily reaction, natural.

The Standing 8 count -
Depending on the state you may have seen a standing 8 count. If the referee deems a fighter is not protecting himself he will seperate the fighters and count to 8 while examining the boxer and asking him if he wishes to continue. You may or may not know this but men are pretty stubborn! It is incredibly rare to see a boxer give up or quit. If he is standing and responding to the questions he is allowed to continue. This is done because it is safer for the fighter, right? Wrong! This allows the boxer to 'get his whits about him' sure, but should he continue. For a moment let me get away from boxing and see if I can illustrate this a different way. Let's say you are out at a bar and have had to much to drink. You are snokkered! How many times have you done or seen someone who claims they can drive stand real still and with full determination take a few deep breaths and try to convince you they are OK. If you've had this happen you know that for a second they appear fine. You may notice this reaction if you've been pulled over after a few. I wont claim to know all that goes on inside the body but your adreneline will kick in and help you. But does it make you sober? NO! Neither does the standing 8 count. The fighter knows in order to continue he needs to appear coherant. He puts his full concentration into it and is allowed to continue. In MMA if the fighter is 'wobbled' the fight continues, he is either about to get knocked out or he wasn't hurt that bad. If a fighter is not protecting himself at any point during the fight it is stopped. Either way there is no 8 seconds to regain a little composure.

The 10 count -
In boxing if you are knocked out you are given 10 seconds to try and get to your feet. I won't go through all the stubborness again but that applies here also. If you can take a step or 2 in the direction of the ref and answer his questions you are allowed to continue. In MMA when you are done you are done. If you are knocked down and not defending yourself the fight is over. Period!

The 3 knock down rule -
In boxing they have a 3 knock down rule. This states that if you get knocked down 3 times in a round the fight is called. This is to protect the fighter from continuing to come back. Well that's all fine and good but it's 2 come backs too many! (see stuborness above) Again, in MMA when you are done you are done!

Let's compare a scenario. Two fighters going at it, one gets wobbled and goes to the canvas. For this scenario we will assume that the downed fighter is hurt pretty bad but still coherant.

In MMA - The other fighter jumps on his opponent and finishes him typically ends the fight with 1 or 2 more punches resulting in a KO or a ref stoppage. Watch some MMA, you will see this play out time and time again.

In Boxing - The fighter is allowed 10 seconds to regain his composer. He steps back into the center of the ring and takes a combo that sends him to the canvas again. he is given another 10 seconds to regain, takes another punishing combo and the fight is ended. If you watch boxing you have seen this play out as well.

The boxer not only takes more punches but he takes them in that critical time when he is hurt. The martial artist is KO'd, a natural reaction. The boxer is revived just enough to get pummeled again.

Another thing you typically hear after a boxing death was that it was a one sided fight. In the most noted death of the year in boxing Levander Johnson, then chapion, collapsed after losing his belt to Jesus Chavez. Johnson's father and cornerman urged his son to quit in the 8th round. Doctors checked him out in the 10th and allowed him to continue. The ref stopped the fight in the 11th. In a similar situation, I saw both fights, Jeremy Horn was getting completely out matched by Chuck Liddell (UFC Champ). Both Johnson and Horn had severe swelling around 1 eye. Horn stopped the fight himself. Johnson continued. In MMA there is no shame in giving up. The fighters have pride and want to win but there is something to be said for someone who can say to themselves that they are beat. There should be know shame in boxing but there does seem to be a difference.

Every year there are many deaths in boxing. There have been 0 deaths as the result of a sanctioned MMA fight, that's right 0. The boxing commissions continue to discuss fighter safety and hold on to popular myths about fighter safety while the numbers keep racking up. They need only take a look at their distant cousin MMA for a lesson.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kudos to the Predators Fans!!

So I think my cry was heard. Earlier this year I wrote an article (if you can call it that) on what I did not like about the Predators game experience compared to what I'm used to in Colorado. I want to give credit where credit is due. To briefly rec ap, I don't like the country music, this is hockey! Don't confuse the Finish players. I also didn't like the absence of the random "Red Wings Suck" chants I'm used to hearing in Colorado. Now, you don't actually need to be playing the Red Wings to use this chant. It's just always appropriate.

On Tuesday I went to the Islanders game and the old faithful up in Cell Block 303 started a Red Wings Suck chant. It brought a little tear to my eye. I don't know if some of you that read and commented on my previous article reside in Cell Block 303 but if you do.....BIG KUDOS.

I do like the rowdiness coming out of that group, the chants are good and the crowd seemed more into this game than the other 10 I've been to this year. I still could do without the country music but I find that if I walk around during the intermission that doesn't bother me so much. At the Islanders game it was more of a rock cover thing anyways.

Now, if I could just get the locals here to start "Red Wings Suck" chants at Kroger and in fine eateries I'd feel like I was home.

Just cuz I know I'll here about it.....Yes, I am a Preds fan. Avs will always be my #1 but I'm solid in routing for the Preds outside of that game! We have a great team here, they are young, fast and the have the toughness. Voukon is playing some good hockey as well. Get out to those games and support them.

Monday, January 02, 2006

PRIDE Shockwave - Review

Wow, what a night of fights. Good action, great card. I wish they could have shown them all but 12 fights is a lot.

Bruceleeroy, the MMA version of the Schwam, ended up 10-2 on his predictions on this night of fighting.

Let me quick run through the fights they did not show on the PPV.

James Thompson over Giant Silva by TKO at 1:28 of the 1st round.

Charles "Krazyhorse" Bennett over Ken Kaneko by armbar sub at 4:14 of the 1st round.

Aleksander Emelianenko over Pawel Nastula by RNC at 8:45 of the 1st round.

Sanae Kukuta over Makoto Takimoto with a unanimous decision.

Kazuhiro Nakimura over Yuki Kondo by unanimous decision. (I missed this one)

And now for the night of fights.

They startd out the action with Fedor Emelianenko vs Zulu
Fedor landed his 1st punch and it was a big one, sending Zulu to the ground. Fedor jumped right in and landed some big blows just pummeling Zulu. After a few seconds Zulu managed to get to his feet only to be knocked down again. The second time Fedor jumped on Zulu he tapped. Fedor was just WAY to much for Zulu to handle.

Fedor Emelianenko over Zulu by tap due to strikes at :26 of the 1st round. Yes, that's 26 seconds!

Next we move on to Hidehiko Yoshida vs Naoya Ogawa.

These to have a prety long history with each other. This would be one of the grudge matches for the evening. This was actually the last fight of the night but things were re-ordered for the PPV here in the states. I typically don't like it when a couple of Judo guys get in there, sometimes they forget they can punch in MMA. These two went at each other during the 1st round in pretty boring fashion. Very tactical with not a lot of 'punching action'. I do like those kind of fights as they are interesting to watch but it can get to be like watching a football game taht ends 6-3, appreciate the defense but wake me up for the second game! As Ogawa, the bigger man, seemed to use his size and strength to control the match Yoshida was able to sink in a very nice armbar to end it.

Yoshida over Ogawa by Armbar submission at 6:04 of the 1st round.

Dan Henderson vs. Murillo Bustamante

Another grude match here. Henderson won the first meeting, after the fight Bustamante claimed it was an illegal headbutt missed by the ref that caused the damamge and ultimately lost the fight for him. He was out to prove that he could beat Henderson. The 1st round saw a few takedowns for Bustamante, 1 for Henderson. Bustamante wass on top for most of the round but didn't seem to push the action from the top like he should have. The stand up battle that should have favored Henderson was pretty even. The second round brought us a knock down by Henderson with a big punch and a follow up knee, they scrambled back to there feet where Henderson landed another knee and Bustamante pulled guard. I personally thought henderson won this fight but would be interested in hearing comments from people who thought Bustamante won. It was definately a close fight and I would have loved 1 more round. Both fighters were pretty tired.

Henderson over Bustamante by split decision.

Takanori Gomi VS. Hayato Sakurai

I was really looking forward to this. I love watching Gomi fight. He was the fan favorite for fighter of teh year by PRIDE viewers, and rightfully so, what a year of fights he's had. Sakurai is just a legend. Great fighter. Interesting twist in this fight is that these guys come from thesame Dojo. Gomi is in many ways a little brother to Sakurai. This would also be the 1st time a Japanese fighter would be crowned a PRIDE fighting Champion.

These two came to fight as everyone knew they would. Sakurai controlled the early action with big leg kicks to Gomi, he landed some good ones. As they came together and clinched Sakurai was able to get Gomi's head and take him down. They were a little close to the ropes so the throw could not take full effect, Gomi ultimately came out the back door and gained Sakurai's back. He got the hooks in and began to pummel. Sakurai rolled a couple of times while Gomi continued to land what seemed to be punches that would not cause a lot of damage. When Sakurai managed to escape, a very nice escape in my opinion, he was noticably stunned. Gomi jumped on him and went in for the kill. Gomi just hits to damn hard for someone who weighs 155-160. He's great to watch.

Gomi over Sakurai by KO at 3:56 of the 1st round.

Kazushi Sakaraba vs Ikuhiso Minowa

Another fight I was looking forward to. Sakaraba represents a lot of the old school of PRIDE where Minowa is the new generation. The crowd was pretty divided.

Sakaraba controlled the early action although it was back and forth. Pretty exciting fight with the technical aspect like the early judo fight but they were also mixing in punches keeping the action going. Sakaraba tried several times for a Kimura, his trade mark move. As they rolled and reversed each other the Kimura was finally landed by Sakaraba and just to deep for Minowa to escape. Minowa tried to hold out til the end of the round but his shoulder would have definately been destroyed by that time.

Sakaraba over Minowa by Kimura submission at 9:39 of the 1st round.

Mirko Crocop Filipovic vs Mark Hunt (the other one I predicted wrong)

The fight began with Crocop in control, he landed his trademark left kick to Hunt's head, thigh and mid section. I seemed as though Crocop would be able to land that at will and end the fightthe way we are used to seeing him end fights. Somebody forgot to tell Mark Hunt that those big leg kicks hurt like hell. He just seemed to walk right through the kicks as if he was being kicked by a kindergartener. If you've seen Crocop fight you've seen him KO people with those kicks, just 1 of those kicks. Hunt took many of them and didn't seem to mind much. After the 1st 3 minutes or so the tide began to change, Crocop seemed a little winded with throwing all those big kicks. And, no doubt frustrated that his big kicks didn't seem to slow down Hunt. Hunt began to control the action, continuing to move forward and chase Crocop around the ring. Round 2 saw Cropcop try and take control of the action again but only for a moment. Crocop landed a beautiful Axe kick that could have destroyed a small village, Hunt shook it off like it was nothing. Hunt then took control of the pace and chase Crocop around the ring. Round3 was more of the same, Crocop was able to land throughout the fight but nothing that seemed to phase Hunt. Hunt controlled the action, backed Crocop up and landed big punches of his own. I can only wonder why Crocop didn't try and take Hunt down early and often. Hunt, visibly frustrated with Crocop's backing up, rushed in with about 45 seconds left and Crocop got a takedown, but didn't have the time to do anything with it. An impressive performance from Hunt indeed. Someone shoudl check his head for cement!

Mark Hunt over Mirko Crocop by unanimous decision.

Ricardo Arona vs Wanderlei Silva

Big big fight with 2 guys who don't like each other. Wandy's only 205lb loss in 5 years comes from Arona. (Wandy lost to Mark Hunt last year in a bout with no weightlimit, Wandy was giving up about 40 pounds in that fight) Arona came out using his speed and got a quick takedown, Silva scrambled to his feet and returned the favor. Silva dontrolled about 7 minutes of the round from the top position. I also liked the fact that during his 'top time' his punches had bad intentions, Arona's 'top time' saw him landing pitty pat punches. Wandy also got 1 or 2 more takedowns in the 1st round. Arona was given a yellow card for stalling.

One note to remember, a difference between PRIDE scoring and UFC/Boxing scoring, the judges score points on who's trying to end the fight. This can be with submission attemps or punches. The pitty pat style does not usually go over well with the PRIDE judges.

In round 2 Arona controlled a little more of the action, scoring 1 or 2 more takedowns and keeping the 'top time' for the second round in his favor. Wandy was given a yellow card in the second round.

In the end I felt like Wandy won the fight. I would be interested in hearing from those who thoguth Arona won the fight. My gut tells me that if you thought Bustamante won the ealrier fight you thought Arona won this one, that may be the style you like and that is fine.

For me it breaks down like this......
here are some of the things the judges look for.

Takedowns - These were pretty even, Arona may have had 1 more.
Stand Up - Again, pretty even, I would give an edge to Wandy.
Ring control - I would give an edge to Wandy only because Arona used the counter which typically allows the other person to control the pace.
Yellow cards - 1 each.

This leaves 'trying to finish the fight'. Wandy definately was swinging to KO Arona. Arona has been called a wet blanket in the past, while I don't think he was doing the lay and pray he may have done in the past I do think he could have put some more mustard on those punches and beena litle more agressive to try and finish Wandy. I feel the same way about Bustamante.

Wanderlei Silva over Ricardo Arona by split decision.