UFC 106


Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin

Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin are back at it again and this time it’s to finish what they started. Tito has been out of the cage for quite sometime. His last fast was in May of 2008 against the now Champion Lyoto Machida. For the past few years Tito’s back has been plaguing his ability to train properly, and now he’s all healed and is looking for a run at the title. Last time we saw Forrest he got clobbered by pound for pound king, Anderson Silva. Forrest is always evolving his game and always comes back stronger than before. It’s been about 3 and a half years since he fought Tito and Griffin as matured into as one of the top fighters in the division even holding the Light Heavyweight title for a short while.

When the fight was announced I had no doubt that Forrest would take this fight. But after seeing how in shape Tito is in. He looks great in the UFC Countdown and at the weigh ins. The big mystery is that is he really healed from his back surgery. I sat back and thought about Tito’s past fights and he has always been a dominating fighter that takes his opponent down at will and usually controls the fight right from the beginning. I believe if the Tito of old is back he will take this fight. If you look at it objectively, Forrest has been busy fighting top fighters and has been getting better and better. You’re only as good as you’re last fight and both of these guys are coming off losses, but in the end I see Forrest with his hands raised.  As much as I like Tito Ortiz I would love to see him have another good run at the title and win it.

Josh Koscheck vs Anthony Johnson

I’m more excited about this fight than the main event. Both guys are from my hometown, San Jose, and it’s great to see the two of them representing in this event. Anthony Johnson has been making a name for himself by smashing his opponents with ease, but this time he’s facing one of the top guys in his weight division.  Koscheck is a great wrestling with the ever improving standup. Koscheck might want to stick to his bread and butter and use his wrestling to nuetralized Johnson’s reach. I see Koscheck taking Johnson down and pinning him against the cage for some ground and pound, and as long as he sticks to that game plan he’ll get the win.

My Picks:

Forrest Griffin beats Tito Ortiz
Josh Koscheck beats Anthony Johnson
Paulo Thiago beats Jacob Volkmann
Luiz Cane beats Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Amir Sadollah beats Phil Baroni
Marcus Davis beats Ben Saunders
Jake Rosholt beats Kendall Grove
Brock Larson beats Brian Foster
Cao Uno beats Fabricio Camoes
George Sotiropoulos beats Jason Dent

UFC 101


BJ Penn vs Kenny Florian

With the return of BJ Penn the lightweight title will be on the line as he will be defending it from Kenny Florian. On paper Penn is considered the heavy favorite, but for the last two years Florian has shown tremendous growth and improvement in his standup and ground game.

This will be Florian’s toughest fight to date. Penn is one of the most well-rounded fighters in MMA, but Florian is almost just as dangerous. When it comes to his striking, Florian’s Muay Thai is solid and will surprise Penn if he keeps the fight standing. Kenny will be utilizing his kicks to slow down his opponent, so expect Penn to shoot in for takedowns. It’s on the ground where Penn will have a big advantage. Penn’s slick BJJ is world-class and he is just as dangerous being on his back as he is on the top position. The odds are against Florian, but with the right strategy he can pull off an upset.

What does Florian need to do? Florian needs to keep the fight standing and use his menacing elbows during the clinches. A Machida tactic of hit and run would be best against Penn. Penn has the propensity of engaging his opponents and pushing the action. With good lateral movement it would set plenty of opportunities for countering. With all that said Will Kenny Florian win? I guess we’ll have to wait an find out. I like rooting for the underdog, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Florian grabs the decision or even get a KO.

Anderson Silva vs Forrest Griffin

There is really no worthy opponent for Anderson Silva in the middleweight division so moving up to 205 for competitive fights is very balsy. This is why he’s considered to be the number 1 pound for pound fighter in the world. This bout with Forrest will push Silva to his limit. Forrest is a huge 205-er. What makes Forrest Griffin different from Silva’s previous opponents is that Griffin feeds off the challenge. As the fight goes into the later rounds Griffin seems to get stronger.

Anderson Silva will have his hands full and don’t expect him to engage full force at the beginning. It’s common knowledged that the first half of the round you will see Silva running around throwing some jabs and a few kicks until he finds his range. From there you’ll see Silva picking apart is opponent. Once his opponent is hurt, Silva pounces for the kill. Looking back at at Silva’s previous fights he has trouble being on his back, but that doesn’t necessarily means it’s his weakness. It can mean that his ground game is not as strong as his standup. So Forrest should take the fight to the ground as often as he can but still remain cautious. Forrest needs to put Silva up against the fence and drag him down and get into side control or full mount that way he can avoid Silva’s long legs.

This fight has a ton of potential to be FOTY, I just hope it delivers. If Silva wins it’ll solidify him as an all time greatest fighter of all time. And if Griffin pulls the win he gets to be the first to prove that Silva needs to stay in his own weight class.

My Picks:

BJ Penn beats Kenny Florian
Anderson Silva beats Forrest Griffin
Kendall Grove beats Ricardo Almeida
Kurt Pellegrino beats Josh Neer
Johny Hendricks beats Amir Soddollah

UFC 92

I’m posting this a little late. I’m on my Blackberry, so I didn’t have the option to add the UFC image.

It’s the end of the year and we get to have one bad-ass fight card. Having two title fights and a highly anticipated grudge match between two very exciting fighters is a great way to cap off 2008.

Let’s start with the Evans v. Forrest. These guys came from obscurity to highly touted fighters in their division. Say what you want about these TUF alumni, but they proved that they deserved to be in this position with every fight they won. This fight proposes an interesting match up. Evans is a great wrestler that has developed into a striking machine and coming from a Greg Jackson camp only adds to his credibility. On the other side of the octagon Forrest is a machine that is almost unbreakable. His impressive wins over Shogun and Rampage catapulted him to the top of the rankings.

Evans has proved he has knock out power and Forrest is as well rounded as a fighter can get. But I see Forrest giving Evans his first loss. Forrest has been in hard fought-battles and came out as the victor. Forrest’s reach advantage and technical striking will keep Evans at bay. As the fight progresses to the later rounds Forrest will have the cardio and experience to shutdown him down.

A grudge match that has been in the making for half a decade is one of the most anticipated fights this year. Rampage will get the opportunity to avenge his two losses from Wanderlei Silva, a fighter who has given Rampage two of the worst beatings in his career. But since those losses Rampage has reinvented himself and in the process won the Light Heavyweight title and defended it against Dan Henderson.

Wanderlei has the mental edge coming into the fight because he has already beaten Rampage twice. Rampage ditched is old trainer and opt to train with Wolf’s Lair. That should definite help his game, but it won’t be enough to stop the Axe Murderer.

Mir and Noguiera’s title fight will be a true battle of attrition. They are both seasoned veterans who had a debilitating accident in their past and has come back against the odds to title contention. Before Mir’s motorcycle accident he was considered one of the top heavyweights in the world, but his road back in the UFC was less than stellar to put it mildly. Noguiera has been in it with the best there is in MMA. His experience and list of victory easily puts him in the hall of fame of the sport.

Mir has his young age to his advantage, where as Noguiera’s long history of being in those brutal battles may have taken its toll. Noguiera is not has fast and nimble as he was 2 years ago. It was obvious in his Heath Herring fight and Tim Sylvia fight. I see Mir coming in and throwing lots of kick to slow Nog down. Mir will keep the fight standing as long as possible and will hold Nog on the ground for a decision win.

My picks:

Forrest Griffin beats Rashad Evans
Frank Mir beats Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera
Wanderlei Silva beats Quinton Jackson
Cheick Kongo beats Mustafa Al Turk
CB Dollaway beats Mike Massenzio
Yushin Okami beats Dean Lister
Matt Hamill beats Andy Reese
Ryo Chonan beats Brad Blackburn
Antoni Hardonk beats Mike Wessel
Dan Everson beats Patrick Barry

UFC 86: Jackson vs Griffin


Tomorrow’s UFC event will be Rampage’s second defense of his Light Heavyweight title. His opponent, Forrest Griffin, was the first season TUF winner. Griffin has steadily improved his fight game over the past couple of years and racked up several impressive wins that catapulted him into one of the most popular fighters. But the loss to Jardine set him back quite a bit. Then one day Forrest dispatched Maricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, currently ranked #1 in the world at the time, that bumped him up to a contender status.

Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has his ups and downs during his career but for the past year he has taken UFC fans by storm by beating Marvin Eastman in his UFC debut, then capturing the Light Heavyweight title from Chuck Liddell and successfully defending it from Dangerous Dan Henderson. Known for his powerful body slams and exciting fighting style, it’s outside the cage many people know him. His exuberant personality makes for hilarious interviews and spontaneous antics.

My Picks:

Corey Hill beats Justin Buchholz
Dennis Siver beats Melvin Guillard (Upset)
Cole Miller beats Jorge Gurgel
Gabriel Gonzaga beats Justin McCully
Tyson Griffin beats Marcus Aurelio
Josh Koscheck beats Chris Lytle
Joe Steveson beats Gleison Tibau
Ricardo Almeida beats Patrick Cote
Forrest Griffin beats Quinton Jackson (Upset)