It’s been several UFC events since I’ve written any previews. I knew I could not skip this blog for UFC 100. Many of my friends wanted to know my thoughts on these fights. So here it is:
Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir
Their first fight proved that Lesnar was an inexperienced rookie in a sport that is very unforgiving. But he bounced back with two very impressive wins over Heath Herring and Randy Couture. Who would have thought a popular professional wrestler would storm into the fastest growing sport and quickly rise to the top of the food chain in the UFC’s Heavyweight Division. If it had to be anybody it would be Brock Lesnar. Lesnar is a one-of-a-kind physical specimen. He’s a mountain of muscle that is as agile as a lightweight; a combination that is rare and deadly. His quickness is attributed from his collegiate wrestling career and his professional wrestling days, and one would guess physique and strength is the product of Hercules and some mortal woman.
And across the ring from Lesnar is Frank Mir, the former UFC Heav weight champ. His career has been a roller coaster ride. He quickly rose up the Heavyweight ranks becoming the king of the division. And as quickly has he rose up in the ranks he faded away. It was mostly due to his motorcycle accident and his rough comeback fights. There was almost a time where Mir’s career looked as though it was about over. But then it all turned around after his stint in the Ultimate Fighter show where he then defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Not only did he beat him, he did it in a fashion that we’ve never seen before. Mir’s boxing and movement has improved leaps and bounds. This much improved standup abilities compliments his excellent ground game now makes Mir a force to be reckoned with.
The fight between this time around will be much different. Lesnar now has the experience albeit not as extensive, and Mir’s improvement in his hands and feet will make for an interesting fight. Mir is a cerebral fighter and likes exploit his opponent’s weaknesses. Lesnar’s loss in the first fight was inability to control his emotions. Lesnar came out too excited and was careless and Mir weathered the storm and caught Lesnar in a text book knee bar. In this fight Mir doesn’t have the luxury of waiting it out to find an opening otherwise Lesnar will just impose his will. If Mir keeps his distance when standing he can out-point Lesnar, but to seal the deal he will need to put Lensar against the fence and work for the takedown to get a submission. For Lesnar to win he’ll need to do the same and put Mir’s back up against the fence and take him down and smother him like he did with Heath Herring. In the end I see Lesnar with the win. The biggest factor will be cardio. Mir was always had a cardio problems and going up against a big wrestler he will quickly deplete his gas tank after the first round.
GSP vs Thiago Alves
GSP is as a well-rounded fighter as they come. Whether it’s on the feet or on the ground no other fighter in his division has a significant advantage, if any, over GSP. Marred by an embarrassing loss to Matt Serra GSP has refocused and came back to avenge his loss and beat Jon Fitch and BJ Penn all in less than a year. Standing across the ring from him this Saturday is a fighter the likes he has not fought before will be looking to strip GSP of his belt.
Thiago Alves is a Muay Thai specialist with devastating strikes. His impressive wins over Koshcheck and Hughes earned him this title fight. With 7 straight wins in the octagon, five of which by KO, Alves is looking to add his 8th win by KOing the current reigning champ. A feat that might not be farfetched as one may think.
People said Jon Fitch would be GSP’s toughest opponent, yet GSP steam rolled Fitch. Now everyone is saying Thiago Alves will be GSP’s toughest opponent. This time there’s a difference. Fitch is a fighter that grinds his opponent down using his wrestling. What made Fitch so formidable is that he can equally take the same amount of punishment and still continue to move forward. Alves, on the other hand, doesn’t grind his opponent down, but rather he inflicts as much damage as possible with every strike. So standing toe to toe against Alves is a risky task. Alves will be looking to chop GSP down with kicks which is probably a smart move. So if he wants to walk away with the belt Alves will need to keep his distance, work his lateral movements, and utilize those low kicks to slow down GSP. Alves has great takedown defense, but GSP has always been successful with his takedowns even against high caliber wrestlers. For GSP clearly dominate he will need to take the fight to the ground which I believe he will be able to do so at will. This will be a close fight. As this may be the first time GSP has fought a fighter who is as strong as him if not stronger.
Dan Henderson vs Michael Bisping
Dan Henderson is a veteran fighter that has been in numerous battles. With knockout power in both hands Henderson is always dangerous whether it’s in the first or fifth round. As the former Pride Middleweight champ Henderson is a tough-as-nails opponent for anyone in any weight division. Henderson has always fought top competition and this time is no different.
Michael Bisping has been on an impressive run in the middleweight division. Dropping down to 185 was the best decision for his career. At this point Bisping has not fought anyone with the credentials close to Henderson, so a win on Saturday night will quickly boost him to title contention.
Henderson is a fighter that likes to stalk his opponent and loads up on that right hand of his. The dangerous part is that everyone knows it’s coming yet his opponents still gets caught. Bisping has to use his footwork to keep Henderson at bay, and for him to win the fight Bisping will need to stay away from Henderson’s clinch and street brawl mentality. I’m sure every MMA betting line has Henderson as the favorite, but I think Bisping will pull the win. Henderson’s last two wins weren’t as impressive. It shows that age is catching up with him his reflexes aren’t as quick and his counters aren’t hitting their marks. Bisping is hungry for the belt and just like Henderson he has fought in the Light Heavyweight division before so going up against the strength of Henderson is nothing new to him. If Bisping keeps moving and landing his strikes he can out point Henderson for the decision win.
Brock Lesnar beats Frank Mir
George St. Pierre beats Thiago Alves
Jon Fitch beats Paulo Thiago
Michael Bisping beats Dan Henderson
Alan Belcher beats Yoshihiro Akiyama
Stephan Bonnar beats Mark Coleman
Mac Danzig beats Jim Miller
Jon Jones beats Jake O’B rien
Dong Hyun Kim beats TJ Grant
CB Dollaway beats Tom Lawlor
Matt Grice beats Shannon Gugerty