Archive for October, 2009

Lesnar out, more Shogun/Machida talk

October 27th, 2009
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First off, bad news about Brock Lesnar pulling out of his Nov. 21 heavyweight title fight against Shane Carwin because of an illness. That happens to be the only Saturday between November 7 and December 5 that the UH football team doesn’t play a home game, so I was pumped to get to see the whole card. Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin will now be the headline fight.

As for the Shogun/Machida fight, a couple of things I’d like to point out.

I give credit to the argument that “robbed” might be too strong of a word. Granted, Shogun didn’t decisively go out there and knock out Machida and win the title, and in fact, it was a close fight. I’ll give you guys in the comments section that.

However, I saw the fight with no audio and I clearly had Shogun dominating the fight. You know, when Dana White and a lot of people say Shogun should have went out there and gone crazy in Round 5 and made a statement, I think that’s crazy talk. If you’re Shogun, and like me, thought you were way ahead in the fight, why would you go out there, change what you’ve been doing that’s worked the entire fight, and risk getting countered and knocked out by a guy known for that ability when you’re ahead? Imagine if he did that and got knocked out. EVERYONE would be all over him for going away from his game plan after winning most of the exchanges for the first four rounds.

People have different things they look for in a fight, but to me, I will ALWAYS, ALWAYS give the guy who is coming forward and standing in the middle of the ring doing most of the attacking the benefit of the doubt. I agree that you should have to beat the champion to be a champion, but that argument gets thrown out of the equation when the champ is running around afraid to engage and doing nothing but waiting to counter.

Also, Shogun has been medically suspended for 60 days for an upper lip laceration. Shogun? Nothing.

And if you care to look at stats, the Web site fightmetric.com always puts up stats for fights and here’s what it came up with for this one.

Machida
power shots to head: 8 of 49
jabs to head: 6 of 16
power shots to body: 23 of 35
jabs to body: 1 of 1
power shots to leg: 2 of 6
jabs to leg: 2 of 9

Shogun
power shots to head: 12 of 31
jabs to head: 5 of 17
power shots to body: 16 of 29
jabs to body: 0 of 1
power shots to leg: 48 of 68
jabs to leg: 1 of 3
Without putting too much stock into this, the only two real differences in this is Shogun was a lot more efficient striking to the head and absolutely destroyed Machida with leg kicks.

Robbed? OK, maybe too strong. But Mauricio “Shogun” Rua should be UFC light heavyweight champion heading into a rematch.

Shogun robbed

October 24th, 2009
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I’m at Aloha Stadium, but was able to watch the Machida/Shogun fight from the press box. All I can say is, highway robbery 101. All three judges had Machida ahead 48-47. I had Shogun winning 49-46.

I’ll update more later.

UFC 104 Shogun vs. Machida

October 23rd, 2009
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A quick look at UFC 104, live on pay-per-view tomorrow night beginning at 4 p.m. Hawaii time.

MAIN EVENT
UFC LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Lyoto Machida (15-0) vs. Mauricio Rua (18-3)

Machida finally reached championship status with a brutal KO of Rashad Evans. His first title defense comes against a man that I thought was the best 205-pound fighter in the world in PRIDE in “Shogun” Rua. Unfortunately, the rules are a little different in the UFC and we haven’t had a chance to see Rua unleash his stomps and kicks that overwhelmed the best of the best. Machida has been unstoppable in his UFC career. He’s dominated everyone he’s faced and he’s barely had to withstand any offense from his opponents.

I hyped Shogun when he arrived in the UFC and while he hasn’t been impressive, a knockout of Chuck Liddell and a very uninspiring win over Mark Coleman is apparently enough to get a title shot. I would love to see the Shogun of PRIDE show up to this fight, but even then, I’m not sure he could solve the riddle known as Lyoto Machida. Here’s hoping for fireworks and to my statement a year ago that Rua would be champion by the end of 2009, but I just can’t see him getting past Machida. Another TKO victory for the champ.

Cain Velasquez (6-0) vs. Ben Rothwell (30-6)

Velasquez is the big up-and-comer in the heavyweight division and will be tested by the veteran Rothwell. This is another chance for Velasquez to prove he is the prospect everyone is hyping him up as. A knockout of Rothwell would really elevate his status to title fight level, but it won’t be easy. Rothwell’s only loss in his last 15 fights is to Andrei Arlovski, but this is his first fight in the UFC, so even the much more experienced fighter will likely have quite a few butterflies in his stomach as he enters the cage. Good solid matchup between two heavyweight bruisers, but I’ll take Velasquez with a bunch of takedowns and ground-and-pound to grind out a victory.

Besides these two fights, not the most intriguing card for me. The rest of the fights are as follows:

Gleison Tibau (29-6) vs. Josh Neer (25-8-1)
Joe Stevenson (35-10) vs. Spencer Fisher (24-4)
Yoshiyuki Yoshida (11-3) vs. Anthony Johnson (7-2)
Ryan Bader (10-0) vs. Eric Schafer (13-3-2)
Antoni Hardonk (8-5) vs. Patrick Barry (4-1)
Yushin Okami (24-4) vs. Chael Sonnen (24-10-1)
Jorge Rivera (16-7) vs. Rob Kimmons (22-4)
Kyle Kingsbury (7-2, 1 NC) vs. Razak Al-Hassan (7-1)
Stefan Struve (21-3) vs. Chase Gormley (6-0)

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UFC officially announces Penn/Sanchez

October 14th, 2009
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The UFC has officially announced the BJ Penn/Diego Sanchez main event for UFC 107 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn., on Saturday night, Dec. 12.

“In this sport it sometimes takes years for fighters to find the weight class where they’re at their best,” UFC President Dana White said in the press release. “I don’t think there’s any question that BJ Penn and Diego Sanchez have finally found their homes at 155 pounds, making the UFC 107 main event a fight between the best Penn and Sanchez we’ve ever seen. BJ hasn’t lost in this weight class in years, and Diego has looked unstoppable in his lightweight fights, and when these two meet in the center of the Octagon, it’s going to make our first trip to Memphis one fight fans will never forget.”

Also announced officially is a heavyweight showdown between former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and Cheick Kongo and a welterweight bout featuring Thiago Alves against Paulo Thiago. Alves most recently lost a five-round decision against Georges St-Pierre.

Bouts rumored for the card, but not official, include a very intriguing fight between Kenny Florian and Clay Guida and a bunch of fighters from the current Ultimate Fighter reality show, including possibly, Kimbo Slice.

The card was supposed to have the fight between Ultimate Fighter reality show coaches Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans, but Jackson asked to move the fight back after signing to do a movie and has recently stated that he has “retired” from the UFC. Let’s see how long that lasts…

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StrikeForce on CBS card set

October 13th, 2009
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StrikeForce finally annouced all the fights that will be televised live on CBS November 7 as the organization presents its debut show on network television. They are:

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers
Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. Jake Shields
Gegard Mousasi vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
Fabricio Werdum vs. Antonio Silva

Four pretty good fights with at least two (Silva/Werdum and Miller/Shields) that I expect to be good fights that could go either way. I will also say that the biggest mismatch on the card isn’t Fedor/Rogers, but instead, is Mousasi/Sokoudjou. Mousasi is an absolute stud as he showed in destroying Babablu in his last fight.

While Fedor is clearly the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world, I am giving Rogers more of a chance than I think most will. Remember the Arlovski fight? Before Fedor knocked him out with an overhand right, Arlovski was controlling some of the fight with his standup. Meanwhile, Rogers ripped through Arlovski and beat him in mere seconds. I think he’ll do the same and could catch Fedor early. But if the fight wears on or if Fedor gets Rogers to the grond, then Rogers’ chances are pretty much over.

But the most intriguing fight hands down is Mayhem vs. Shields. Jake Shields has been dominant ever since his victories in Hawaii in the Rumble on the Rock tournament. And with “Mayhem” earning celebrity status with his MTV show “Bully Beatdown”, he will bring in a lot of viewers for this fight. Shields has been clamoring for attention as he’s ripped through opponent after opponent. “Mayhem” has never had to worry about popularity, but is his MMA game up to the task? I think Mayhem has a great chance to be a real superstar for the company, but obviously, he has to beat Shields in his first fight for StrikeForce.

Anyone pumped for this card? Which one are you looking forward to more? StrikeForce or UFC 104: Shogun vs. Machida??