UFC 146

The original main event was suppose to be Dos Santos defending this title against Alistair Overeem, but due to a failed drug test Overeem was pulled from the match.  Now Frank Mir gets another opportunity to get a Heavyweight title around his waist.   Mir has won his last three fights and he has looked impressive.  Mir has a tough fight ahead of him. Dos Santos is a powerful heavyweight with devastating striking.  If Mir wants any chance of winning this fight he’ll need to take this fight to the ground.

Also, expect Dos Santos to look  at this fight as more than a title defense but to revenge the defeat of  his team mate Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by the hands of Mir.

My Picks:

Junior Dos Santos beats Frank Mir
Antonio Silva beats Can Velasquez
Roy Nelson beats Dave Herman
Shane del Rosario beats Stipe Miocic
Stefan Struve beats Lavar Johnson
Diego Brandao beats Darren Elkins
Edson Barbosa beats Jamie Varner
Duane Ludwig beats Dan Hardy
Kyle Kingsbury beats Glover Teixeira
Jacob Volkmann beats Paul Sass
Mike Brown beats Daniel Pineda

UFC 130

My Picks:

Matt Hamill beats Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Roy Nelson beats Frank Mir
Stephan Struve beats Travis Browne
Demetrious Johnson beats Miguel Torres
Kendall Grove beats Tim Boetsch
Gleison Tibau beats Rafaello Olivera

UFC 119

Frank Mir is on a mission. He wants the Heavyweight title again and just as important, he wants to take it from Brock Lesnar. But his road to the title has been a rocky one where he had suffered a some setbacks. Losing to Brock changed Mir in a way that affected him physically and mentally. Since then Mir has never been this fit and he has never been so determined to claw his way back to the top. And tonight, the next person standing in his way is the stoic and always dangerous Mirko Cro Cop.

In PrideFC, Cro Cop amass a career on beating opponents by vicious knockouts. Watching Cro Cop was like watch Mike Tyson demolishing grown men down to cowering little girls. It was fun and exciting to watch. Towards the end of his PrideFC career his speed and aggression waned but not before he was able to capture the Open Weight Grand Prix title. Soon after PrideFC went under UFC acquired the Croatian Sensation. Cro Cop’s fight in the UFC has been less than stellar. But with two back to back wins in the UFC the Croatian looks more poised then ever. Is he finally comfortable in the Octagon? My answer, probably not. But he can always prove me wrong if he wins impressively against Mir.

Mir has one of the best ground game in the division, but he’s been improving his standup. Wins over Kongo and Big Nog showed that he can throw punches too. Cro Cop is a K1 striker and has fought the best kickboxers on the planet. But his BJJ is “meh” at best. It’s his face-planting sprawl that keeps his opponents from trying to take him down. To win this fight Mir will need to take the fight to the ground fast and work his submissions. He’ll need to close the distance and drag him down to the floor.

For Cro Cop to win he’ll need to pull the trigger and let his hands and legs loose. He’s been too gun-shy lately to build up any kind of effective offense. With his sprawl he can keep the fight standing as long as he wants. But he’ll need to utilize his kicks to slow down Mir. Cro Cop has excellent gound and pound and if he can wear Mir down he can win the fight there. Forcing Mir to repeatedly go for takedowns is one way to gas him out. Skill for skill Mir has a little more tools in his tool bag than Cro Cop. Mir always comes back stronger and better after a loss and we have yet to see the Cro Cop of the past and we’ll probably will never see it again, which is why Mir will win this fight because the Croatian’s lack of aggression and counter-fighting style won’t work against Mir.

My Picks:

Frank Mir beats Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Ryan Bader beats Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Chris Lytle beats Matt Serra
Evan Dunham beats Sean Sherk
Melvin Guillard beats Jeremy Stephens
Matt Mitrione beats Joey Beltran
Thiago Tavares beats Pat Audinwood
C.B. Dollaway beats Joe Doerksen

UFC 107


BJ Penn will be defending his Lightweight title this Saturday against Diego Sanchez. Diego is no slouch and he always comes in with great intensity. Diego’s career as a welterweight was more than impressive, and now that he’s down to the 155lbs division he has earned his shot at the title. Penn is arguably one of the best MMA fighters in the sport, but the lack of consistency of his fights makes it difficult to place him among other great fighters such as Fedor, Anderson Silva, and GSP which they all have dominated their division. As for Penn this would be his only second title defense.

Penn’s last fight with Kenny Florian showed how versatile and how great of a fighter he actually is. Penn was seen to have poor condition and only relied on his skills and experience to win fights. It took a devastating loss to GSP to make him realize his woes and his win against Florian showed what he learned from it.

Since dropping down to the lightweight division Diego’s ability to finish fights haven’t been prevalent. But with his outstanding cardio and ability to keep the fight at a frantic pace makes him so dangerous. Many think that Diego’s pace will wear Penn out in the later rounds and is the X factor that may give him the win.

There’s something about BJ Penn that makes his opponents change their fight game completely. Kenny Florian is a tactical fighter with devastating striking and good BJJ, but when he fought Penn he looked so timid.  In fact, he look liked a TUF fighter trying to survive his first UFC fight. Diego always pushes the fight, but will he do the same when fighting Penn? It’s something that we have to wait and find out. If we look at Diego’s record his only losses came from the welterweight division against two fighters who are the top 5, and they were decision losses.

For Diego to win he will need to take the fight to Penn. He needs to back Penn up and use his flurries of punch to keep Penn moving back. Diego will also need to take Penn down whenever possible. Penn’s BJJ is world-class and he can be dangerous on his back, but as long as Diego is able to avoid Penn’s rubber guard and dish out some damage he will earn points in the eyes of the judges. Diego should use his proven cardio to keep Penn on defense as much as possible. A countering strategy against Penn is a losing one.

Penn can win the fight easily if he’s able to control and dictate the fight. It’s his stand up that sets up his finishes. Penn’s heavy hands makes his opponents shy and it’s where Penn is able to take them to the ground where he is most dangerous. It is the top position is where Penn will end the fight.

If the same BJ Penn that fought Kenny Florian is back again, then Diego will have his hands full. If Penn comes in better than he did against Florian then Diego is in huge trouble. This fight is a great test for both fighters. A win for Penn places him closer to greatness and questions about his cardio is a thing of the past. A win for Diego Sanchez would prove that the lightweight division is where he belongs and would give him the opportunity to dominate the division and be placed among fighters like GSP and Anderson Silva.

My Picks:

BJ Penn beats Diego Sanchez
Frank Mir beats Cheick Kongo
Jon Fitch beats Mike Pierce
Clay Guida beats Kenny Florian
Paul Buentello beats Stephan Struve

Alan Belcher beats Wilson Gouveia
Matt Wiman beats Shane Nelson
Johny Hendricks beats Ricardo Funch
Lucio Linhares beats Rousimar Palhares
Edgar Garcia beats DaMarquez Johnson
Kevin Burns beats TJ Grant

UFC 100


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.

My Picks:

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