UFC 156

Im a huge Frankie Edgar fan and this Championship fight is going to be exciting.

Jose Aldo is the king of the division, but he hasn’t faced anyone that is well rounded as Edgar. I actually see Edgar getting the win via decision.

My picks:

Frankie Edgar beats Jose Aldo
Rasad Evans beats Antonio Rogerio Noguiera
Alistair Overeem beats Antonio Silva
Jon Fitch beats Demian Maia
Joseph Benavidez beats Ian Mccall
Jacob Volkmann beats Bobby Green
Evan Dunham beats Gleison Tibau

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 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 125

As of tomorrow night it’ll be Frankie Edgar’s 3rd title fight in 9 months and a title defense within 4 months. As a UFC Champion that’s a quick turnaround given that other Champs take 6 or more months in between defenses. After beating BJ Penn twice Edgar is still not getting any respect coming into this fight. Many of the bookies and analysts expect Maynard to take the belt from the New Jersey native. Seeing that Maynard did win against their last bout it’s not unreasonable to believe he will win again.  Both fighters have grown leaps and bounds since their last meeting. Maynard has greatly improved his stand-up and Edgar’s ever-evolving quick hands and feet have helped both fighters rise to the top of the division.

This fight will be their most important fight of their careers. A win for Edgar will truly mark him as the undisputed Champion of the lightweight division and will give him the respect he deserves. For Maynard, it’s obvious, he gets the title. But a loss for either will put them much deeper down the division since UFC / WEC merger will add a boat load of up-and-coming lightweight fighters to the roster.

In their last fight Marynard received the unanimous decision. Maynard utilized his wrestling to control the fight and to keep Edgar off his feet as much as possible. It was a poor game plan on Edgar’s part. Edgar seemed so focused on striking and didn’t use his wrestling to mix up his attack which I think costs him that fight, but that loss doesn’t mean Maynard is a more superior wrestler than Edgar. Edgar’s wrestling credentials are just as impressive as any one in the UFC.  If Edgar mixes up his boxing and wrestling like he did against his last bout with BJ Penn a repeat win for Maynard won’t be as likely. For the past few months I can see Maynard winning this fight again in similar fashion, but after watching their last fight a few times and Edgar’s fights against BJ Penn I now I have change my mind that Frankie Edgar will win in this rematch. The fight will be close and a controversial win won’t be that all surprising.

My Picks:

Jacob Volkmann beats Antonio McKee
Clay Guida beats Takanori Gomi
Dong Hyun Kim beats Nate Diaz
Josh Grispi beats Dustin Poirier
Jeremy Stephens beats Marcus Davis
Thiago Silva beats Brandon Vera
Brian Stann beats Chris Leben
Frankie Edgar beats Gray Maynard

UfC 118

For this UFC I find myself more interest in the non main event fights. The fight I’m looking forward is the Florian vs Maynard bout. These two fighters have very different styles that will make for a very interesting fight. Florian is a tactician on his feet and on the ground. He is very cerebral and he takes the fight where he knows he has the advantage. Maynard is a strong and powerful wrestler that can wear out the most durable fighters. He gets better and better every time he steps in the cage. With a win over the current champ, Frankie Edgar, Marynard is guarantee a title shot if he manages to get pass Florian. In this fight Maynard will need more than his strength and power to win he will need to stifle Florian’s striking and take the fight to the ground and pound away with his top position, and with his strong wrestling background he has the tools to do it. It’s easier said than done. Kenny Florian has phenomenal striking and a slick ground game. If Florian can stay away from the clinch and avoid the takedown Maynard will be in trouble.

I always thought the argument about Boxing vs MMA is stupid, and it still is. These are two different sports and trying to compare them to each other makes no sense. But with James Toney fighting Randy Couture tonight hopefully people will see the difference. Both of these fighters are legends in their respective sports and when these two athletes compete against each other the fighter who fights outside their forte will undoubtedly be in a losing proposition. Randy Couture has 13 years of experience compared to the 7 months of Toney’s the chance of Toney winning this fight is infinitesimally small, but it’s that chance that people find intriguing.

Seeing Penn lose to Edgar in April shocked me. Not because Edgar was a huge underdog, it was the game plan he brought with him. Known for his amazing BJJ Penn never even tried to attempt to utilize such an important skill set that made him feared by so many fighters. That loss has woken the demon inside him and I hope we will see a BJ Penn that wrecked havoc in the lightweight division. As for Edgar his strategy worked for him last time and I don’t think he should change it, but he should expect Penn to take the fight to the ground. And if the fight does go to the ground I don’t see Edgar escaping from the tangles of BJ Penn. But another win against the Hawaiian will surely establish his last win as no fluke.

My Picks:

Randy Couture beats James Toney
BJ Penn beats Frankie Edgar
Kenny Florian beats Gray Maynard
Marcus Davis beats Nate Diaz
Joe Lauzon beats Gabe Reudiger
Mike Pierce beats Amilcar Alves
Dan Miller beats John Salter

UFC 112

The Middleweight and Lightweight kings are back in the octagon defending their titles. For the first time, UFC will be holding their first event in Abu Dhabi in an outdoor arena. Fighters will be fighting in the open environment, so let’s hope it doesn’t rain.

Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia

Anderson Silva was slated to face fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort, but due to a shoulder injury Demian Maia has stepped up to take his place to fight for the title.  I think Maia makes a more dangerous opponent than Belfort. Maia’s BBJ is world-class and is second to none in MMA. Silva’s ground game is underrated and he’ll prove that this Saturday. Maia’s only advantage is taking the fight to the ground, but that’s easier said than done when the Champ is considered the best striker in all of MMA. It’s not to say that it’s an impossible task as other fighters in the past have managed to take Silva down such as Dan Henderson and Travis Lutter. In reality there is no perfect game plan against Anderson Silva. Maia will have to close the distance to even attempt a take down, and even then, that’s where the Champ is the most dangerous with this Thai clinch and knees. I see this fight ending in a boring decision with Maia evading the striking prowess of Silva or a devastating KO by the hands or knees of the Middleweight champ.

BJ Penn vs Frankie Edgar

BJ Penn has truly focused on his career establishing himself as the best Lightweight fighter of all time. Penn has defended his title 3 times with ease. And on Saturday he will be facing a fighter with fast hands and great wrestling, Frankie Edgar. Edgar is one of the few fighters in MMA that mixes this quick crisp boxing with his wrestling very well.  But the same can be said about BJ Penn about his boxing and BJJ. The only thing that Edgar brings to the table on Saturday is his fast hands. As of late, Penn’s stand-up has been giving all his opponents trouble, and it’s where he wears down his foes and finishes them off on the ground. So fast hands won’t be enough to take the belt from the Prodigy. Edgar will need a game plan that forces Penn to pick up the pace in the fight and draw it out into the championship rounds. I haven’t been sold on his “improved cardio”. If Edgar can avoid the ground game and push the pace for the first few rounds he can capitalize on a very tired BJ Penn in rounds 4 and 5.  Unfortunately the only person with the skill-set that can implement that plan is currently holding the Welterweight title. I see this fight ending via TKO or submission with Penn licking his glove and the belt still around his waist.

My Picks:

Anderson Silva beats Demian Maia
BJ Penn beats Frankie Edgar
Renzo Gracie beats Matt Hughes
Terry Etim beats Rafael Dos Anjos
Mark Munoz beats Kendall Grove
Paul Taylor beats John Gunderson
Matt Veach beats Paul Kelly