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 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 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 128

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones will be following in the footsteps of the current Light Heavyweight Champ, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, by quickly ascending the division and capturing the title at such an early age.

Jones is a rookie compared to many of the fighters he has fought, but what makes him so different is his dynamic set of skills he brings into the cage. What’s more amazing is that those skills are evolving at a blistering pace. The combination of unorthodox striking and wrestling makes Jones so dangerous to many. But his most impressive attribute as a fighter is the mental aspect of his game and of the sport. The way he handles himself in and out of the cage makes him look like a mature fighter many years over. Whether it’s a studio interview or a post fight discussion Jones’s composure and respectful manners is very telling of his intelligence and passion for this sport. It is easy to see why he has a strong following of fans.

Standing in front of Jones is Shogun, the Champ whose skills and composure easily matches Jones. The big difference with Shogun is that he has the experience many other fighters only dream of. In 2005, at 23 years old, he captured the PrideFC Middleweight tournament beating the who’s who of MMA at the time. Shogun has showed he can take the fight anywhere and be successful, but does he have what it takes to stop the rising star that is aiming to take his belt? In this fight Shogun will have a hard time against Jones. The biggest factor will be Jones’s reach advantage and wrestling. Sure, Shogun has faced opponents who had a reach advantage such as Alistair Overeem and wrestlers like Kevin Randleman, but none of them has the combination of the two like Jones.

For Shogun to retain his belt he will need to take Jones down. He’ll need to close the distance and stifle the striking of Jones. It’s the scramble on the ground where Shogun will be able to catch a submission. But the longer the fight stays standing Jones will have the opportunity to establish his unorthodox striking and utilize his reach advantage. With a strong wrestling background Jones will have the tool he needs to keep this fight standing or gain top control where he can use his vicious ground and pound.

My Picks:

Jon Jones beats Mauricio Shogun
Urijah Faber beats Eddie Wineland
Jim Miller beats Kamal Shalorus
Nate Marquardt beats Dan Miller
Brendan Schaub beats Mirko Filipovic
Edson Barboza beats Anthony Njokuani
Luiz Cane beats Eliot Marshall
Ricardo Almeida beats Mike Pyle
Kurt Pellegrino beats Gleison Tibau

UFC 104


Lyoto Machida defends his Lightheavy weight title for the first time. The guy facing him across the cage is Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.  Machida has earned his spot at the top of the division by beating every single person that was put in front of him. Shogun, coming off of an impressive knock out of Chuck Liddell, will be put to the test to see if Shogun of 2005 is back.

There’s no secret between how these two fight. Machida is very elusive with his movement but very accurate with this strikes. His Karate background gives his style a unique and unorthodox fight game. His style gets many of his opponents frustrated which leads to mistakes where Machida can capitalize. Shogun is very dynamic and mixes his punches and kicks throughout the fight and his ground game is just as dangerous. In this fight Shogun will have the odds against him. His aggressive style will play right into Machida’s game. The only way for Shogun to control the fight is to get the Champ to the ground and utilized some vicious ground and pound. Another option is to corner Machida or pin him against the cage and work some dirty boxing, but that’s easier said than done . Machida will do what he does best and that’s to out-striking his opponent while avoiding getting hit. This fight will be exciting and no matter what happens it’s a win-win for Brazil.

Another bout on this card that I’m excited about is the Cain Velasquez vs. Ben Rothwell. When comparing fight records of Rothwell’s Velasquez is a rookie making his mark. The big equalizer for Velasquez is that he has a solid wrestling background that brings along a fierce competitive attitude, great work ethic, excellent cardio, and ability to endure punishment. But I don’t thing it will be enough to edge out the 30+ fight experience of Ben Rothwell. Not only does he has 30 more fights than Cain he weighs at the end of the weight limit of the Heavyweight division. Size and experience matters. If Cain can take big Ben to the ground and control him he might have a chance. Expect to see Rothwell utilize the brawl and sprawl tactic to score points and keeping himself from being on his back. As much as I like Cain, Ben’s wealth of experience and size gives him big advantage that Cain won’t be able to overcome.

My Picks:

Lyoto Machida beats Maruicio Rua
Ben Rothwell beats Cain Velasquez
Spencer Fisher beats Joe Stevenson
Anthony Johnson beats Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Josh Neer beats Gleison Tibau
Ryan Bader beats Eric Schafer
Antoni Hardonk beats Pat Berry
Chael Sonnen beats Yushin Okami
Rob Kimmons beats Jorge Rivera
Razak Al-Hassan beats Kyle Kingsbury
Chase Gormley beats Stephan Struve