Wednesday, July 05, 2006

UFC 61 Bitter Rivals ~ The Predictions

Wahoo, it's been a great month for MMA, this Saturday will be no different. Bitter Rivals is headlining 2 re-match fights. Ken Shamrock will try and avenge his loss to Tito Ortiz, these 2 really hate each other. Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia will fight a 3rd time to see who the true champ is. This time around I have insight from my mma friend Krista who sent me her picks. As usuall MMA Krista is not to be confused with my fiancee Krista. You will notice if you hit the UFC's web-site, some of the records are different. I stick with Sherdog's records as they tend to be more consistant.

The Undercard, may not be shown on the telecast.

Hermes Franca 14-5-0


Joe Jordan 19-9-2

Hermes Franca returns to the Octagon, I'm so glad the UFC is bringing back the 155ers, these guys are fast, tough and they don't bring the power that the big boys do but they are incredibly exciting to watch. Joe Jordan is a well rounded MMA'er who has a lot of fights under his belt. It will be interesting to see his reaction to being on a larger show. His record against other guys that have fights in the UFC is not that great, but a Draw with Josh Neer and Roger Huerta (who was supposed to be in this fight with Hermes) prove that he has been the distance with some good ones. He does also hold losses to Jorge Gurgel and Melvin Guillard, 2 people starting to shine in the UFC. I believe Hermes's (is it really Hermes's, that's great!) 4 previous fights, although 2-2, will give him that extra bit of composer that is so valuable in the fighting game. Plus, how could you vote against a guy named Hermes? I just can't do it. Krista has also picked Hermes in this one.

Gilbert 'El Peligro' Aldana 5-1


Cheick Kongo 7-2-1

I've been waiting for Kongo to come to the UFC for a bit now. He brings 5 KO's in his 7 wins over to the Octagon to fight with Aldana who lost his 1st time in the UFC. Aldana went the better part of 2 rounds with heavy handed Paul Buentello, ultimately getting knocked out. I think this will be a great fight to watch, although we may not be watching it since it's an undercard fight. (advantage-PRIDE) I'm looking for Kongo to win this fight by delivering some heavy leg kicks that will open Aldana up for the big head shots. Krista did not pick this fight.

Jeff 'The Snowman' Monson 21-5


Anthony 'The Hippo' Perosh 5-1

The Hippo? Come on, are you serious? Once upon a time the Snowman was 6-5 and at a crossroads in his career. He'd just lost to Ricco Rodriguez, Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell (with 1 win in the middle). That's UFC Champ, TUF Champ and UFC Champ for those of you at home. Since 2002 Monson has won 15 fights in a row. I don't see him losing this one either. Monson is more than likely in line to fight the winner of Sylvia/Arlovski depending on how the Mir/Henderson fight goes. Krista is taking The Hippo in this one.

Drew 'The Master' Fickett 26-4


Kurt 'Batman' Pellegrino 6-1 (UFC has him at 13-1?)

I think Fickett is going to add 1 to his 16 submission victories, he's been in the big fights with the big guys and I don't know that Batman will have the right gadgets to get out of this situation. I just can't wait to hear Joe Rogan say "holy omoplata's, Batman's tapping!" If you are playing the Joe Rogan drinking game you will have to finish your drink if he says that, you will also have to send me a dollar. Krista did not pick this one.

And now for the main card!!!!!!

Yves Edwards 29-10-1


Joe Stevenson 24-7

This 155 pound battle should be another great and exciting fight. If you read this blog you know I love Thugjitsu and Yves Edwards, can he stop Joe from taking him down though? That is the biggest question. If Joe gets him to the ground it's going to be a long hard fight. I think that Yves took his last UFC opponent, Mark Homminick, a little to light. A mistake I don't see him repeating. Yves is well rounded wih 12 KO's and 10 submissions, it's gonna be a KO in this one. Krista also has Edwards.

Josh 'The People's Warrior' Burkman 6-3


Josh 'The Dentist' Neer 17-3-1

It is rumoured that the loser of this fight has to change his name from Josh. Burkman is coming off a loss to Drew Fitch, a loss that came with 3 seconds left in the 2nd round. Josh Neer is coming off victories over Melvin Guillard and TUF Champ Joe Stevenson. I see Neer keeping his streak alive and coming out on top in this one, although I like Burkman since he's from Team Quest. It will be interesting to see how Tito's training will effect his conditioning and this fight. It may be the edge he needs to prove me wrong. Krista also has Neer in this fight.

Dan 'The Sandman' Chistison 8-3


Frank Mir 8-2

Here are 2 big heavyweights, Dan is one of the biggest at 6ft 8in and 265 pounds. I'm hoping this is one of those fights where 2 good submission guys go toe to toe. Big Dan's gotta keep Mir at bay with his long reach. I may have an opportunity to talk to big Dan tomorrow afternoon, if I do I'll bring you all the last minute comments. I don't want to take up to much of his time right before a fight though. Mir is coming of a loss after a motor cycle injury that sidelined him for over a year. He still has a small claim to the title since he was never beat for it. If he wins I believe they will give him the next title shot. If Dan wins I think the shot should go to Monson, I think Dan will have earned it, but I'd like him to have another fight or 2 before stepping up in talent to face the winner. I've got Dan in this one, Krista's got Mir.

And now what's being billed as the co-main event of the evening.

Tito 'The Huntington Beach Badboy' Ortiz 13-4


Ken 'The Worlds Most Dangerous Man' Shamrock 26-10-2

In the promo world it just doesn't get any better than this. 2 guys that really hate each other. The UFC milked it for ratings on The Ultimate Fighter 3 and now they will milk it for PPV's at UFC 61 Bitter Rivals. This fight may be just a little over hyped though. Shamrock's and old school fighter, he's 42 years old and he's lost 5 of his last 7 fights. Tito is coming from 2 losses (Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell), 2 split decision victories (Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin, I personally thought he lost the Belfort fight) and a unanimous decision over Patrick Cote. I really think that this is a lose lose for Tito. Either he wins a fight that everyone thinks he's gonna win or he loses. Man if he loses it will be ugly. I think Tito has got to KO Shamrock very early, either with 1 devastating punch or a completely devastating 1-2 minute performance that turns Sharmock inside out. Shamrock's a good fighter so he always has a chance, maybe a 1/2 a percent in this one. As much as I'd like to see Tito get KO'd 1 time it won't happen today. Tito's fantasy of ending Shamrock's career may just come true on Saturday. I've got Tito in this one, as does Krista and every other MMA fan I know.

The Real Main Event -

With all the hype going out about the Tito and Ken fight people are actually overlooking a pretty damn good match up.....

Tim 'The Maine-iac' Sylvia 21-2 and current UFC Champ


Andrei 'The Pitbull' Arlovski 9-4 and former UFC Champ

Fight #1 saw Arlovski drop Sylvia with a big right hand, drop in on him and end the fight with an Achilles Lock. Fight #2 saw Andrei land the big right again, sending Sylvia to the mat, this time Sylvia got up and landed a short right that Andrei walked right into, this caused him to drop face 1st in flash KO fashion. Both guys have tremendous power, they have proven that they can knock each other off their feet. I think both of them have learned their lesson and both will be a little cautious and try and fight the fight they want. With 25 KO's between them you can imagine how this fight will go. I think Arlovski will win back his title, but it definately wont be easy. These guys are good and this should be a great fight. Much better than the over hyped Tito v Shamrock. Krista has taken Sylvia in this one so we shall see how it all turns out on Saturday!

Monday, July 03, 2006

I gotta talk about this soccer again.

I don't know why I'm in a ranty mood tonight but here goes. I was watching the World Cup, again. Argentinia vs Germany to be precise. This was on last Friday. I'm watching this and having a little trouble with the fact that these are grown men. I do take for granted sometimes that being a guy who trains in mixed martial arts, gets hit in the head and thrown around for a workout and a little recreation that I may be a little more numb to pain than the average bear. My fiancee refers to me as the most 'testosterony' guy she has ever dated. But these guys ahve to be the softest professional athletes out there.

So with the game tied up Argentinia's goalie gets kicked in the stomach, he proceeds to flop around on the ground due to this devastating injury. All that I can handle and I'm getting used to. But then, in the World Cup, with your nations hopes and dreams on the line he gets subbed out??? Subbed out for an injury after being kicked in the tummy??? And, he got taken off on the stretcher.

Now in my years I've cracked my ribs twice, broken fingers, toes, seperated my shoulder, knocked out my front tooth when I was in seventh grade and I have also been kicked in the tummy. Mike accidentally kicks me in the head every time we work out. I have never been on a stretcher. I have seen people in football blow out there knee's and not be taken off on a stretcher, Nascar racers get in accidents at 200 miles an hour and don't need a stretcher.

These guys are just soft!!!!

It's all over

I'm selling my stock I'm selling my house and I'm throwing a raging keg party tomorrow since the apacolypse is upon us!!!

MTV2 is coming up with a new show of some kind called Final Fu. Ridiculous!

They are looking for "Black Belt level (or equivalent)" What the hell is 'or equivalent'.

This page, along with it's fantastic Jean-Claude Van Dam music, is a total joke. "Defend your martial arts style against the best competing practitioners in the nation". It looks to find the best fighters to compete "against each other in an arduos competition of challenges and stand-up, tournament point fighting". Jean Claude must be the host of this, or maybe Steven Seagal. I don't think Chuck Norris would stoop down to this much of a publicity stunt!

1st off, there was already a show to try and find out which individual style would dominate. It was called the Ultimate Fighting Challenge back the and Brazilian Jui Jitsu won! Now if you want to call yourself a fighter and you want to compete you must be well versed in multiple arts, that's why they call it MMA. MIXED MARTIAL ARTS.

This is a shameless attempt for MTV to jump on any band wagon they can. I hate to say this but I remember when MTV was cool, or at least I thought it was when I 1st started watching. Unfortunately I 1st started watching when it 1st came on the air which makes me old.

This will be a fantastic opportunity for all those TV Sensie's we see that will "teach your child to defend himself in real life situations".


Sunday, July 02, 2006

PRIDE Critical Countdown ~ The Results

What a night of fights. PRIDE has announced that they will be coming to Las Vegas on October 21st of this year. Can't wait.

Nastula came out and got the takedown, worked for an armbar but Drago was able to back out. Nastula gained another takedown and ended up with the mount pretty quick. Worked a pretty good ground and pound opening some cuts. The ref paused the action to bring them to the center of the ring. Drago reversed Nastula, tried to work his ground and pound but Nastula gained an arm bar for the submission victory.

Su was outclassed from the very begining of this fight. Yoshihiro controlled the action, took him down and worked a vicious ground and pound game. Within no time Su had a mouse under his eye that after about a minute closed it completely. The Dr stopped the fight for safety. TKO Yoshihiro.

They both came out looking for a quick exchange, Belfort lands a nice left hook that drops Takahashi to the canvas cold. Quick one! Belfort shows the hand speed that made him famous when he was younger.

Overeem came out and controlled this fight. During the 1st round he controlled the action with high and low kicks. Around the 5 minute mark of the 1st round you could see the damage on Nog's leg. Nog did get a takedown and work some weak ground and pound but Overeem's defense was solid. In the second round Overeem went back

Nakamura came out and quickly got the takedown. Worked his ground and pound, wint into side control and landed a lot of little punches, not a whole lot of damage jsut frustrating. Secured the Americana but had it a little to far from the body, switched to a should crank then moved back to an elbow lock to secure the submission.

Nog came out swinging and sent Werdum to the floor, Werdum pulled guard and played defense for a while. Nog controlled this round. Werdum has a stiff and quick jab but that's all he's got going for him. On 2 occasions during the round Werdum hits the canvas and at least 1 of Nog's body punches made Werdum wince. Round 2 brought more of the same, Nog now has a cut on his eye from the stiff jab of Werdum. It goes to the 3rd round where Werdum puts up a better effort but not enough. Werdum got a takedown and worked some pretty weak ground and pound. At one point Nog had to give up his back, Werdum went for the Rear Naked Choke, Nog slipped out the back door. Frank Trigg with the comment of the night says something like "Wow that was a great move I wish I could have learned that!"

(For those who are not MMA fans/followers, Frank Trigg lost his last 3 fights by the Rear Naked Choke.) So the Nog twins both make me wrong on this evening.

Silva came out a swingin, nocked Fujita to the mat early and landed 3 big knees to his head. The middle of this round got a little boring as Wandy controlled the action, Fujita did get some ride time and ground and pound as Wandy tried a couple times to land an Armbar. With right at a minute left Wandy drops Fujita again, jumps on, lands a lot of heavy blows and finally KO's him with literally 1 second left.

Wow, great job by Josh Barnett in this fight! I doubted his ability to take Hunt to the ground but it took him no time at all to get him down on the ground. Once he was on the ground he passed guard for side control, segregated Hunts arm and worked for a Kimura and secured the victory. Impressive win for Barnett.

Anotehr impressive win. Mirko came out utilizing his well known kicks. Yoshida hung in there for a while but 6-7 leg kicks from the 1/2 way point to the 7 minute mark inthe fight did their damage and took their toll. Yoshida was clearly in pain and limping on that leg, Mirko landed another one and Yoshida went down hard.

Another great night of fighting. A note about the UFC vs PRIDE argument. This was not live, taped in Japan. In 2 hrs and 40 minutes PRIDE brought us 9 fights and still had time to plug their upcoming shows and all that good stuff. Since the UFC is live it's harder to fill gaps in a show like this when you get some early ending fights.

UFC vs PRIDE take 2

A while back I did an article on PRIDE vs UFC (read all about that using the link. In that article I broke down the history of the 2 organizations and things they do different and the same. I took a lot of comments by reffering to the UFC as "the big show". It's almost a full year later and things have changed so today I decided to break down what I like about each show, some of the fighters who have crossed over, some of the champs and some of the others.

I will say that based on the payout amounts I've seen, PRIDE does a better job. Although when I see payout amounts they are not confirmed so who really knows. All in all I think MMA Fighters deserve more than what they get.

I do like the fact that the UFC is live. Since PRIDE is held in Japan it is difficult to broadcast to the United States live. And, yes, I do live in the United States. PRIDE can get rid of a lot of unneeded fluff and bring more fights which I like. All and all there is just more of an excitement watching a live event.

Advantage ~ UFC

Both organizations are continueing to commercialize everything, bringing in more money that they do not share with thier fighters.

Advantage ~ Push

I don't know this for fact either but it seems as though the UFC fighters get better endorsments and sponsers than the PRIDE fighters. If you look at Quinton Jackson's interviews when leaving PRIDE and going to the WFA he seemed to imply that PRIDE doesn't do a good job of getting fighters extra sponsers.

Advantage ~ UFC

I love the enthusiasm of the PRIDE crowd, it just seems to be more true fans and less drunken idiots screaming. Go USA! I've been to some of the UFC's, sorry fellow fans but we do tend to bring in a lot of drunken idiots.

Advantage ~ PRIDE

I like the cage over the ring but like the system of PRIDE over the UFC. In PRIDE you can still knee to the head. I understand why the UFC doesn't allow those things when someone's head can be trapped between the mat and the cage, a knee or stomp could cause a lot of unneeded damage.

Advantage ~ Push

I like the judging of PRIDE. The UFC's boxing-like 10 point must system just doesn't belong in MMA, plus the judges don't seem to know as much about the sport. The judge that voted for Stephan Bonnar over Rashad Evans the other night is a perfect example. I guess he scored highly on the vicious headbutt's Bonnar was landing to Rashad's fist! But I think judging the whole fight rather than each round is the way to go. Like boxing, you still have some 'round stealing' with last minute action.

Advantage~ PRIDE


Anderson "the Spider" Silva
Silva brought his 3-2 PRIDE record to the UFC to fight Chris Leben last week. Silva had lost his last 2 PRIDE fights to Daiju Takase and Ryo Chonan. He dominated Leben from the 1st jab to the final outcome which lasted all of 49 seconds. You could tell from that 1st jab that it was going to be a quick one. Silva also holds victories over Jeremy horn and Jorge Rivera outside of PRIDE and UFC. He made the PRIDE talent look pretty damn good.

Advantage ~ PRIDE

We will then go from the most recent to probably the most decorated, Jeremy "Gumby" Horn. Horn is a mere 6-4 in his 10 UFC bouts while keeping an undefeated 3-0 in PRIDE. Horn's 77-14-5 record (according to Sherdog) would indicate that the UFC talent is pretty stiff since he is well below average when fighting there.

Advantage ~ UFC

Phil "The New York Badass" Baroni couldn't by a win at the end of his UFC career, everyone said he was washed up. Baroni posted a 3-5 record in the UFC, losing to Evan Tanner and Matt Lindland twice. Baroni was able to come over to PRIDE and KO Ryo Chonan and Ikuhisa "the Punk" Minowa. Overall he is 3-2 in PRIDE. The UFC fighters figured Baroni out, stand in front of him, get knocked out. Some of the PRIDE fighters tried to trade with Baroni and got knocked out. Hopefully they have figured him out.

Advantage ~ UFC

Yves Edwards has also done a bit of crossing over. Yves is 2-1 overall in PRIDE and 6-3 in the UFC. This doesn't help us at all.

Advantage ~ Push


Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell is an interseting one to look at. Chuck is 13-2 in UFC and 2-1 in PRIDE. His loss to Jeremy Horn 7 years ago can be chalked up to being in a fight with someone more experienced. Losing to Quinton Jackson and Randy Couture can be chalked up to fighting to top flight guys and coming out on the losing end. He has come back to beat Randy 2 times and eagerly awaits an opportunity to fight Jackson again.

Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva is another champ that crossed over. His 1-2 UFC record didn't look so hot, his PRIDE record of 22-2-1 with 1 no contest looks real good. Like Chuck you shouldn't make the mistake of looking at his early losses, he's much better than he was back then.

There is not a fan out there that would not love to see this fight. This would be UFC vs PRIDE at it's finest. Chuck has proven KO power with a freakish ability to avoid the takedown. Wandy loves to take people down and ground and pound them into the mat. No doubt chuck would want to stand and Wandy would want to ground and pound, but Wandy can trade standing up also. I believe that Wandy is more of a complete fighter, I also believe Chuck would land one of his big right hands and send Wandy home.

Advantage ~ UFC (barely!)

Time "The Maine-iac" Sylvia is the current Heavyweight Champ of the UFC. At 6ft 8 and 250-265 he is a menace to MMA. He's a good striker who brings with him an incredible reach advantage. Sylvia has 2 submission losses in his 23 fights, 16 KO's in his 21 wins. Arlovsky did put him on the floor before dropping into a Achilles Lock, he also put him on the floor before getting KO'd in there 2nd fight. Sylvia has shown a chink in his armour, a small chink mind you!

Fedor Emelianenko is a monster. 23-1 overall with his 1 loss coming in his 2nd fight. Fedor has not shown a chink anywhere. He has the power to knock you out and he has the smarts to submit you. He has one of the greatest comebacks in MMA history when he took a vicious slam from Kevin Randleman, looked completely composed and landed an armbar for victory.

Sylvia would want this to stay on the feet and need to use his reach advantage to keep Fedor at Bay. This may actually work for a while, Crocop was able to keep Fedor away at times. But Fedor would, in the end wear the Maine-iac down and beat him.

Advantage ~ PRIDE

Rich "Ace" Franklin is the current 185 pound champ in the UFC. It's hard to put up a better fighter right now. Many will look forward to seeing him fight Anderson Silva, that fight will probably take place next year. Franklin is an incredible striker, more polished than Chuck Liddell with an equal amount of KO potential.

Dan "Hollywood" Henderson won the Grand Prix 185 pound championship last year. Henderson is a former wrestler with impressive stand up skills.

Although Henderson is from Team Quest I would pick against him in this fight. I think Franklin is one of the best fighters out there right now. I really think he could beat Liddell if he fought at 205.

Advantage ~ UFC

In the 170 pound weight class you don't have much for PRIDE representation. It would be hard to find someone to stand up to the power of the UFC in this category, they bring Matt Hughes, Georges "Rush" St. Pierre and BJ "The Prodigy" Penn to the table.

Advantage ~ UFC

In the 155 pound weight class you don't have a champ in the UFC. PRIDE brings Takanori "The Fireball Kid" Gomi to the table in this weight class. I know he recently lost a fight to Marcus Aurelio but I don't think that would happen again. Gomi is good, real good. Soon the UFC will crown a champ, I think it will be Kenny Florian. It will be an interesting match up to talk about when the Champ is crowned.

Advantage ~ PRIDE

On my points I have UFC with 7 (1 Barely), PRIDE with 5 and 3 pushes. That about sums up how I feel about the 2 shows. I love them both, I'd love to see more crossover action but if you put me to a decision I'd pick the UFC. Although I'll give PRIDE a bonus point on the fact that they show 8-10 matches where the UFC will maybe show 6-7 on a good night. That makes the decision very close.

As always feel free to comment, argue, discuss or whatever it is you do.

PRIDE Tonight ~ Predictions

OK, the event has actually happened but I hae not looked at the results. Since many out there woudln't believe that anyway I'm not going to get into much detail, just the picks. This will air tonight on PPV, since PRIDE events are held in Japan they are tape delayed.

The Open Weight Tournament ~

I'm taking Wandy in this one.

Crocop, Mirko in this one.

This should be a good fight, I think Hunt will win. Unless he comes in 30 pounds overweight which he has been known to do. But for the official picking purposes I'm going with Hunt.

I'm taking Werdum in this one. (my upset)

Other, non tournament match ups ~


Belfort. (I'm betting he has finally pulled his head out of his ass, could be wrong)

Overeem. Will both the Nog's lose in 1 night????

I will take Nastula.


Soon it will be UFC Ortiz VS Shamrock.