UFC 145

Jon Jones maybe well on his way to become one of the best Light Heavyweight fighter off all time, but standing in front of him tonight is a former training partner and number one contender Rashad Evans.  The two dislike each other and both vow to shut the other up after their fight.  To me the drama between Evans and the champ seems contrived. Either way the hype is working and lots of people can’t wait to see this fight.

Evans has his hands full in this fight. Jones has great striking and his wrestling is solid.  It’s difficult to see Rashad Evans winning this fight. Though his chances are slim Evans will need to take the fight where he is at his best which is his wrestling. Evans would need to stifle the champ by closing the distance and force it into a grappling match. There’s nothing more tiring than a wrestling match. Evans can tire Jones into the championship rounds and try to put him away with this haymaker or grind him out on points. I know, it’s easier said than done.


My Picks:

Miguel Torres beats Michael McDonald
Mac Danzig beats Efrain Escudero
Brendan Schaub beats Ben Rothwell
Chris Clements beats Keith Wisiewski
Anthony Njokuani beats John Madessi
Stephen Thompson beats Matt Brown
Mark Hominick beats Eddie Yagin
Rory McDonald beats Che Mills
Jon Jones beats Rashad Evans

UFC 144

This UFC’s first event in Japan in a very long time (since UFC 29). This event is stacked with great fights. Check out my picks below. Sorry, no time for a main event analysis.

The event is actually taking place on Sunday in Japan, but because of the time difference we (here in the US) will be able to view it live on PPV today.

My Picks:

Frankie Edgar beats Benson Henderson
Quinton Jackson beats Ryan Bader
Cheick Kongo beats Mark Hunt
Yushin Okami beats Tim Boetsch
Joe Lauzon beats Anthony Pettis
Norifumi Yamamoto beats Vaughan Lee
Takanori Gomi beats Eiji Mitsuoka

UFC 142

UFC is back in Brazil and this time Jose Aldo will be defending his title against rising star, Chad Mendes.  Mendes, undefeated, will try to do something his team mate, Urijah Faber, was unable to do by defeating the champion Jose Aldo. This fight is a classic striker vs wrestler matchup and it’ll be interesting how the fight unfolds. Aldo has been destroying his opponents with his striking and he hasn’t had a chance to use this grappling skills, so Mendes may give him that opportunity.  If the fight goes to the ground Aldo will need more than just a decent ground game as Mendes is a legit collegiate wrestler with a wealth of experience.

As good as Mendes is this will be his toughest fight of his career. Aldo is a dangerous striker with excellent takedown defense. Mendes will need to take a page out of Kenny Florian’s game plan when he fought against Aldo. He’ll need to stuff Aldo against the cage and utilize dirty boxing and take him to the ground when he gets the chance. Giving Aldo any distance will just let him utilize his explosive striking.  I’m rooting for Mendes, but it’s hard to see him pull a win over the Brazilian champion.

My Picks:

Jose Aldo beats Chad Mendes
Vitor Belfort beats Anthony Johnson
Rousimar Palhares beats Mike Messenzio
Edson Barboza beats Terry Etim
Sam Stout beats Thiago Tavares
Ednaldo Oliveira beats Gaberiel Gonzaga
Mike Pyle beats Ricardo Funch
Yuri Alcantara beats Michihiro Omigawa


UFC 141

I’m here in Las Vegas and I was able to catch the weigh ins yesterday, but unfortunately I won’t be seeing it live here.

This event is going to be a good one. The Lesnar vs Overeem bout is the fight I can’t wait to see. Finally Overeem is now in the UFC. He’s been destroying all the other heavyweights in other organization over the past two years, so now it’ll be interesting how he does it here in the big leagues.

My Picks:

Allistair Overeem beats Brock Lesnar
Donald Cerrone beats Nate Diaz
Alexander Gustafsson beats Vladimir Matyushenko
Ross Pearson beats Junior Assuncao
Nam Pham beats Jimy Hittes
Diego Nunes beats Manny Gamburyan

UFC 140

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is one of the busiest UFC Champs this year. This fight will mark his 4th fight in 2011 and it will be is second title defense.  Standing across the cage from him is former champ, Lyoto Machida.  I’m very excited for this fight as they have very contrasting styles.

Jones is very dangerous on his feet as he uses his long limbs to his advantage.  What makes him more dangerous than other strikers is that Jones uses his knees and elbows just as much as his hands and feet. So anyone fighting Jones whether its in close quarters or at a distance they’re bound to be lit up. When it comes to the ground Jones has a solid wrestling background that’ll dictate the fight where ever he wants.

As for Machida he is so elusive. His past opponents often gets frustrated as they try to counter Machida’s strike and flight tactic.  He can close the distance with speed and accuracy and bounce away from danger before his opponents can return fire and that makes Machida so dangerous and frustrating to his opponents. Plus, Machida’s karate style can confuse some fighters. Kicks and punches come from awkward angles that can surprise anyone.

Jon Jones has been on a tear. He captured the UFC title and easily defended it. A match up against Machida looks to be an easy win for the Champ, but Machida does have the tools to win. What Machida needs to do to win is that he needs to stick to his bread and butter. He needs continue to be elusive and to use his feints to force Jones to throw punches and kicks. That’s where it’s primetime for Machida to attack, it’s to counter attack.  One of the disadvantage of having long limbs is that when you throw a punch or kick it takes just a little bit longer to reset leaving you open for just a split second.

My Picks:

Jon Jones beats Lyoto Machida
Frank Mir beats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira beats Tito Ortiz
Brian Ebersole beats Claude Patrick
Mark Hominick beats Chan Sung Jung
Nick Lentz beats Mark Bocek
Krzysztof Soszynski beats Igor Pokrajac


UFC 139

For the first time UFC will be bringing their event to my hometown of San Jose, Ca and it’s going to be a crazy weekend. Believe it or not San Jose has a large MMA community. There are martial arts dojos and classes at almost every major plaza or shopping centers here, so I’m planning on a large crowd of MMA fans and Affliction and Tapout shirt wearing ‘wannabes’ flooding downtown this evening.  This event doesn’t have the major star-studded fighters like GSP, Anderson Silva, or Jon ‘Bones’ Jones but there are a few very interesting matches I can’t wait to see.

Wanderlei Silva vs Cung Le

I’ve always been a fan of Wanderlei Silva.  his violent style of fighting makes him so much fun to watch. In his prime, Wanderlei was a ferocious champion.  His ability to dish out damage was unmatched by any of his opponents.  In the last few years age and wear and tear has caught up with him.  Wanderlei hasn’t quite have the same speed, power, and aggression. But his fights are still exciting.  Cung Le’s fighting style is totally opposite from the “Axe Murderer”. Le likes to use angles and lots of movement to set up his strikes. Wanderlei has an in-your-face style that puts a lot of pressure on his opponent. For Wanderlei to win he’ll need to constantly put the pressure on Le. He needs cut off Le’s angles and force him to back pedal throughout the fight.   Le isn’t good at taking damage, so if Wanderlei makes this a close-quarter brawl he’ll get his hand raise at the end of the night.

On the other side of the cage we have Cung Le. He’s a very cerebral fighter. Le has a solid stand up game and wrestling base. Le’s has an arsenal of flashy strikes which are very powerful and can catch his opponents off guard.  Throwing those flashy kicks requires lots of distance from his opponents, but Wanderlei is not going to sit there and let Le throw spinning back kicks all night. Le will need to use lots of lateral movement as Wanderlei will come straight at him and stepping backwards will only put him in the way of a barrage of punches.

Mauricio Rua vs Dan Henderson

Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua is coming off a big win over Forrest Griffin. Shogun hasn’t been consistent with all the injuries and surgeries he’s had in the past few years. But with all that behind him now he’s poised to made another return to get his title back.  And standing in his way tonight is the hard-hitting Dan Henderson.  Shogun is as well-rounded of a fighter one can get.  He can KO or submit anyone so weaknesses for Shogun are very few.  But Henderson doesn’t need to find and exploit a weakness. He just needs to connect once with an over hand right to put Shogun to sleep.  To take out Henderson Shogun will need to avoid those heavy bombs of Henderson and take the fight to the ground. Making it a grappling match will tire Henderson’s arms and will diminish his KO power.  Shogun has great submission skills and Henderson has been submitted before. Taking it to the ground is Shogun’s best route. Keeping the fight on the feet is a little too risky.

Dan Henderson is coming off three big wins and the last one being Fedor Emelianenko is one not many have on their win column. We all know Henderson has crazy KO power and anyone who faces him has a good chance of going to sleep inside the cage. Henderson likes to swing for the fences and this is where he’ll run into trouble some times.  Those big haymakers will tire anyone down. So Henderson will need to approach and set up those big punches with a clean boxing style. He’ll need to use a lot of jabs, straights and hooks. And if Rua is willing to stand toe to toe Henderson can throw that big right hand of his when the time is right.  Henderson is also a great greco-roman wrestler. He can use that experience to pin Rua up against the fence and utilize some dirty boxing. He’ll need to avoid taking the fight completely to the ground.


My Picks:

Dan Henderson beats Mauricio Rua
Wanderlei Silva beats Cung Le
Urijah Faber beats Brian Bowles
Martin Kampmann beats Rick Story
Kyle KingsBury beats Stephan Bonnar
Ryan Bader beats Jason Brilz
Gleison Tibau beats Rafael dos Anjos
Miguel Torres beats Nick Pace
Matt Brown beats Seth Baczynski

UFC 137

The original main event was suppose to be a Welterweight Championship fight, but unfortunately Georges St. Pierre is injured and now the BJ Penn v. Nick Diaz takes top billing.   This main event is just as intriguing. BJ Penn is an amazing fighter who’s MMA skills are unmatched.  Nick Diaz is tough as nails and is as scrappy as they come.

They are both BJJ specialist and you can expect this fight to be entirely on their feet. Diaz has range, but Penn has power.  BJ Penn hasn’t look like his usual dominating days and I don’t think he’s has it in him this time around, but I hope he proves me wrong.  Nick Diaz will take this fight using his slap boxing style and his range to wear down Penn.  As the fight goes to the later rounds expect Penn to slow down and Diaz to turn up the heat.

My Picks:

Nick Diaz beats BJ Penn
Matt Mitrione beats Cheick Kongo
Roy Nelson beats Mirko ‘CroCop’ Filipovic
Scott Jorgenson beats Jeff Curan
Hatsu Hioki beats George Roop
Dennis Siver beats Donald Cerrone
Eliot Marshall beats Brandon Vera
Tyson Griffin beats Bart Palaszewski
Chris Camozzi beats Francis Carmont
Clifford Starks beats Dustin Jacoby
Ramsey Nijem beats Danny Downes

UFC 136

Two titles are on the line. Frankie Edgar will be defending his Lightweight title against Gray Maynard in a rematch that ended in a controversial draw in their last bout.  And Jose Aldo will try to retain his title against the veteran Kenny Florian whose been trying to capture a title of his own the past few years.

Edgar vs. Maynard

This will be their third fight against each other with Maynard holding a win over Edgar in their first fight. In their last fight, Maynard was so close to finishing the fight in the first round, but Edgar was able to weather the storm and took control of the fight to even it up on the score card.

Expect Maynard to come into this fight with a controlled game plan. He will use is physical strength and wrestling to control his opponent.  He’ll want to take the fight to the ground and wear the New Jersey native down. But it won’t be easy as Edgar’s foot movement and quick hands will be the deciding factor of this fight.  If Edgar can keep the fight on the feet, he will retain the title. Both are good wrestlers and in the end I see Edgar fending off Maynard’s takedowns and utilize his quickness to keep Maynard at bay and score points with this hands.

Aldo vs. Florian

Aldo has dominated all his opponents since he debuted in the WEC.  Since holding the Featherweight title he looked untouchable.  In his last fight against Mark Hominick, Aldo seemed to exposed a weaknesses. It was his cardio.  Some were saying Aldo had an injury that forced him to make a big weight cut right before the fight, but who knows?

Florian has made an unprecedented move by dropping to a fourth weight class. He was able to prove that he belongs in the division by beating a tough and top contender, Diego Nunes.  Florian will be Aldo’s toughest opponent yet. Well-rounded with tons of experience Florian will force the Champion to bring his A-Game.

I’m excited for this fight as Aldo is one of the most explosive fighters in MMA. His striking is phenomenal and his team mates say his ground game is just as good. We haven’t seen it yet as he has not have the opportunities to use it in the octagon. I believe Florian’s striking is good too, but not at the level that Aldo has displayed.  I expect Florian to use his reach advantage, but when the opportunities are there he will try to stifle Aldo by keeping him up against the cage. Keeping the fight in tight quarters where Florian can use his knees and elbows is key to scoring points and maintain control.  It’s out in the middle of the octagon is where Aldo can blast those big leg kicks and crushing knees.  I see Florian struggling to control the Brazilian phenom. Aldo will be just too fast and powerful in the striking game.

My Picks:

Frankie Edgar beats Gray Maynard
Jose Aldo beats Kenny Florian
Chael Sonnen beats Brian Stann
Nam Phan beats Leonard Garcia
Melvin Guillard beats Joe Lauzon
Demian Maia beats Jorge Santiago
Jeremy Stephens beats Anthony Pettis
Zhang Tiequan beats Darren Elkins
Eric Schafer beats Aaron Simpson

UFC 135

As the youngest Light Heavyweight title holder in UFC Jon ‘Bones’ Jones will be defending his title for the first time against Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. For the past few months these two fighters have build a distaste for each other. I’m not sure if its real or marketing hype, but it’s working. Rampage is known to talk trash to get inside his opponents head. Jones has always been the calm and well-mannered in and out of the cage, but recently Jones is fighting back with his own words.

The bout tonight should be very interesting. Jones is dynamic and unpredictable, but very deadly and accurate. Whereas Rampage has tremendous power in both hands that could end the night at any moment. In my opinion, Jones should walk through and demolish Rampage. What makes this interesting is that the celebrity status that Jones has gain may have affected his training. And the current smack talk between the two could have mentally distracted him. The big question is ‘Can he handle the pressure?’. Many Champions have said it in the past, winning the title is hard, but defending it is even harder.

My Picks:

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones beats Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson
Josh Koshcheck beats Matt Hughes
Ben Rothwell beats Mark Hunt
Rob Broughton beats Travis Browne
Nate Diaz beats Takanori Gomi
Tony Ferguson beats Aaron Riley
Tim Boetsch beats Nick Ring

UFC 134 – Rio

For the second time the raining Middleweight champ, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva, will be facing the Japanese sensation, Yushin Okami. The last time they faced each other the fight ended in an awkward win for Okami, via disqualification by Anderson Silva.  Nevertheless Okami is the last person to hold a win over The Spider. This fight has been a long time coming. Okami has put on some great fights as well as a couple of disappointing losses, but with each loss Okami came back more determined and has proved himself  to be a worthy contender to the title.

Tomorrow night will be a special night for UFC and the Brazilian fans. It’s been over a decade since Brazil held a UFC event. Many of the popular UFC Brazilian fighters will be representing their country in the Octagon. Most importantly the Middleweight title is on the line. Watch Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera fight for the first time in his home country against rising star, Brendan Schaub. Shogun Rua is back in the octagon.  This time it will be a rematch against TUF winner and former Light Heavyweight champ, Forrest Griffin and the fighter that beat Rua in his UFC debut.

My Picks:

Luis Cane beats Stanislav Nedkov
Rousimar Palhares beats Dan Miller
Ross Pearson beats Edson Barboza
Forrest Griffin beats Mauricio Rua
Paulo Thiago beats David Mitchell
Thiago Tavares beats Spencer Fisher
Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera beats Brendan Shaub
Anderson Silva beats Yushin Okami