Archive for the ‘MMA’ Category

Jason Head_Shot[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

Cain and Junior put on a show Saturday night, and it was a good one. The outcome was not a favourable one for the UFC. The heavyweight division is at a place where there are two or three elite heavyweights, and then everyone else. A watered down division and a lack of serious contenders have left the UFC with a what to do about Junior Dos Santos situation.

If you look at the top ten in the UFC heavyweight division there are very few fighters who are in the position, and capable of challenging Cain for the title. You have Dos Santos, Cormier, Werdum, Silva, Browne, Barnett, Overeem, Mir, Miocic and Nelson making up the top ten.

Cormier has made his intentions clear; he will be making the drop to the 205 division and trying his luck down there. He has said over-and-over again that he will not fight Cain no matter what. That is arguably the division’s best prospect gone.

Werdum is waiting in the wings and will most likely get the next shot at Cain. This fight is going to be very difficult to promote; Werdum does not have much drawing power. Werdum was in a position where he was the only one in the top ten who was not either leaving the division, in a fight already, coming off a loss or just plain not ready.

Silva was beaten by Cain twice, and the way the fights went there is not going to be anyone calling for that fight anytime soon. Also, he will headline UFC Fight Night on December 6th in a fight with Mark Hunt. Even if he destroyed Mark Hunt he is years away from another fight with Cain.

Browne and Barnett will meet at UFC 168, and the winner will more than likely be at the top of a very short list of contenders. The division is so shallow that the loser of this fight will probably still only be a fight or two away from a title shot.

Overeem is ranked #7 in the top ten, and his only UFC win came over Brock Lesnar. He is currently 1-2 and is coming off two loses. His next fight with Frank Mir is likely a win or go home situation, and yet. Mir his opponent is also in the same boat; he has not won inside the octagon in almost two years and is coming off three consecutive losses.

Miocic is a good, up and coming prospect but is nowhere near ready to take on a fighter like Cain. He is likely two or three fights away from UFC brass even considering him in a title fight conversation.

Finally, Roy Nelson—Roy is not anywhere near getting a title shot or even being considered for a title shot. He dropped an upset loss to Miocic, and this past Saturday he was completely outclassed by Daniel Cormier. So coming off back-to-back losses, he is multiple fights away from that discussion.

So, what does Dana do with Junior? He is pretty clearly to this point the second best heavyweight. In the top ten, there is only Werdum and the winner of Barnett/Browne who are even close to a title fight. Where does Junior go from here? This is a very difficult situation.

Junior has fought Cain three times, and in the final two fights he was beaten from pillar to post. They were not even close, so much so that I am sure another one would be a difficult sell for the UFC. They could try to use Junior as a launching pad for one of the other fighters in the division, but who? Junior will steamroll the rest of the top ten with maybe the exception of Barnett who’s style is a terrible match up for Junior.

I think there will inevitably be a fourth and depending on how that goes a fifth fight possibly. Dos Santos is going to have to wait a year, or maybe two so that the UFC can form some marketable angle, but with the state of the division I do not see the UFC being able to prevent it.

The heavyweight division is in trouble; when the number 7 and 8 fighters in the division are virtually in a win or go home situation. That says a lot about the depth of the division.

Jason Head_Shot[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez are two of the very best heavyweights in UFC history. This is more than a fight; this truly is a legacy fight. When they meet in the Octagon, this Saturday the winner will emerge as the best of this era and perhaps any era of heavyweights in UFC history.

This is a very fun fight; it is a classic grappler vs. striker match-up, and two completely different fight philosophies.

In their first fight, Junior was able to land the perfect punch, and not because it was lucky but because that is what he does. Junior is not a “dog fight” type of fighter like Cain is. Junior prefers to use his footwork and throw calculated, accurate, powerful punches.

His takedown defence has been so good in his career that, that game plan has worked for him. He has more stopping power than Cain, and he knows it. He knows that if he can land a clean shot he can stop Cain.

Cain has more avenues to victory than Junior does; his grappling, cardio, clinch boxing, and striking output are all problems for Junior. Junior has to respect Cain’s wrestling ability to the point where it opens up opportunities for Cain to get the better of the striking exchanges.

Cain’s pace broke Junior early in the second fight; He is relentless and has that wrestlers work ethic. He never stops—ever. He stays in your face and active for the whole 25 minutes.

Much like the second fight Cain has to get off first. Junior is not a counter boxer he is an aggressive power puncher. If Cain can beat him to the punch he should be able to back Junior up and nullify a great deal of his power. It will also be important for Cain to beat up Junior’s legs, and slow his movement down. That will make it a bit easier for Cain to get in on the legs of Junior and score some takedowns.

Junior will have to do a lot of things differently if he wants to be successful against Cain. He needs to mix things up; he has got to make Cain think about something other than his boxing. He needs to throw in some kicks, or shoot for some takedowns, anything that makes Cain think. That will open up opportunities for Junior to put his boxing to work.

Also, Junior needs to focus on the body of Cain in the first round, maybe the first two. He needs to take away Cain’s advantages in the later rounds. Junior hits hard, and if he can unload on the body of Cain he will be able to slow him down and bring his hands down a bit, and open up Cain’s head. If he can do that the advantage should sway Junior’s way.

I have to lean Cain’s way in this one. I believe that his pace and style of fighting makes a horrible match-up for Junior. Junior has one avenue that brings the title back to Brazil with him, and that is to KO Cain Velasquez. Cain, has the ability to ground-and-pound Junior, out point Junior with his grappling skills, and also to grind Junior out, and make him wilt under the constant pressure. Cain in my opinion is going to grind Junior down and dominate him to a 5 round decision.

Jason Head_Shot[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

My prayers have been answered; BJ Penn will return to the octagon at Featherweight to take on Frankie Edgar in a trilogy bout. Since the induction of the featherweight division into the UFC I have personally thought that where BJ belonged, I have debated this with people for a while.

BJ Penn’s issue has always been his conditioning. It is no secret that BJ is one of the greatest natural talents this sport has ever seen, but his work ethic has left a lot to be desired. When Penn comes into the octagon prepared there is no one better.

When Penn fights closer to his natural weight his conditioning is never an issue. That is until his fights with Edgar. I personally believe as though Penn had ruled the roost for so long that he had begun to take his reign as champion for granted.

Penn’s heart and warrior spirit in many cases has been his worst enemy. Most fighters do what is best for their careers and fight at a weight class that offers them the most advantages come fight night. Not Penn. BJ has never given jumping divisions a second thought. He is willing to give opponents huge size advantages in order to fight at welterweight or higher.

When he takes to the cage to fight at Featherweight, he will have fought in five different divisions during his career. He is a warrior he fought as high as heavyweight taking Lyoto Machida to a decision.

He seems extremely motivated to get back in the octagon with Frankie Edgar. I for one think that is just part of the reason. BJ has talked about his legacy on a number of occasions and his desire to go down as one of the best in history. I think he is motivated to be the only person in the sport to hold a title in 3 divisions. Can BJ do it? Only time will tell.

However, I do think that everything is aligned for BJ to make a solid run at it. Usually when BJ has problems it is when the bigger guys lean on him and make him carry their weight. Guys like Rory, George and Nick who could all fight at middleweight easily. At 145, it is going to be more challenging to do.

In order for BJ to make 145 he is going to have to put more emphasis on his cardio, conditioning and diet. That will pay huge dividends for him, and ultimately bring him into the octagon in tremendous condition. He says he is feeling great after the eye surgery and has been doing a lot more cardio than he has in the past, so I am looking forward to seeing how BJ looks on fight night.

All that aside, I am looking forward to the interaction between Penn and Edgar on the Ultimate Fighter as coaches.

Jason Head_Shot[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

Pettis vs Henderson

It was a great night of fights that saw Josh Barnett make his return to the octagon, the “Smooth” era end, and the “Showtime” era begin in the lightweight division, and Chad Mendes get one step closer to his rematch with Jose Aldo. The main event saw a re-match years in the making. Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson took to the octagon with the lightweight title on the line.

This is probably going to be a very un-popular statement, but right from the start Benson looked scared to strike with Pettis—to me anyway. He came out aggressively pushing Pettis backward and looking to take the fight to the ground. The two fighters had a couple of brief exchanges both ending with Pettis defending the takedown against the fence.

Benson was landing some very effective short kicks to the legs of Pettis while he had him pinned against the fence. When the two fighters separated Pettis landed four hard body kicks that seemed to get Ben’s attention. He then went for a flashy cartwheel kick. Pettis ended up on his back with Henderson in his guard. It did not take long for Pettis to lock in an arm-bar forcing Benson to tap verbally.

The “Showtime” era has officially begun!!

What’s next: Anthony Pettis- I am not sure if TJ Grant will get his opportunity, but if not Jose Aldo, Jose Aldo, Jose Aldo Dana needs to make that fight happpen. Ben Henderson- Ben is going to want a fight that keeps him relevant I would like to see him square off with Rafael Dos Anjos.

Josh Barnett vs Frank Mir

The fantasy fight between Josh Barnett and Frank Mir came to fruition last night, and it did not last long. Right from the start the War Master was all over Frank Mir. He closed the distance pinned Frank against the fence and began to utilize some effective dirty boxing. He landed a solid knee, Mir’s body went limp, and he dropped. Barnett landed two more punches and the ref jumped in and stopped it.

There was some controversy surrounding whether the referee stopped the fight early as Mir jumped right up and was immediately protesting the stoppage. Personally I think maybe it was a little premature, but it was not going to change anything. Mir’s chin just is not capable of taking heavy shots from the elite heavyweights, and his wrestling is not good enough to dictate where the fight takes place. In my opinion, Mir needs to retire. He has had too good a career to drift into obscurity on the under-cards

What’s next: Josh Barnett- I would love to see Johs and Travis Browne go to war I think that would be a great fight. Frank Mir- Honestly I really want to see Frank retire. He is one of the greats and it has just come to a point where he can no longer compete with the best fighter’s in the division. He has had a great career and I don’t want to see him go out like Tito–period.

Chad Mendes vs Clay Guida

Duane Ludwig has proved to be an extremely valuable piece to the Team Alpha Male camp, and in particular Chad Mendes. Mendes has TKO’d his last four opponents and yesterday became the first person to stop Clay Guida with strikes. There are other fighters in line for a title shot like Ricardo Lamas, Cub Swanson, but Mendes has absolutely placed himself in that line.

It took Mendes a little bit to get his timing, and find Guida’s chin, but in the third round he found his range and landed a right hand that dropped Guida. That was the beginning of the end, as Chad was able blast Guida with one more right hook that ended the fight.

What’s next: Chad Mendes- I would love to see him fight cub in a #1 contender fight. Clay Guida- I think a fight with Erik Koch would be good and it would keep one of them relevant in the division.

Brandon Vera vs Ben Rothwell

Brandon Vera vs. Ben Rothwell was a good fight. Vera spent the first two rounds moving around the outside and frankly looked scared of Ben Rothwell. He hit Ben with some very good body kicks, which Ben seemed to walk through without much of a problem. In the third round, the beast in Big Ben awoke, and he rushed Vera landing some solid punches, dropping him with a knee and moving in with some ground and pound forcing the stoppage.

What’s next: Ben Rothwell- I know he called out Travis Browne but I would rather see Barnett and Browne go at it. I think a good fight for Ben would be Shawn Jordan. Brandon Vera- I do not think he can hang at heavyweight in this era of MMA and to be honest I think at best he could be a gate-keeper in the light heavyweight division.

Dustin Poirier vs Erik Koch

Dustin Poirier vs Erik Koch was my choice for the fight of the night. It was a great fight and was nearly stopped on numerous occasions.

Dustin Poirier hurt Koch early in the fight, but as soon as it hit the mat Koch was able to lock in a very tight triangle choke. Poirier showed great poise survived, and punished Koch with heavy strikes through the first two rounds. Koch proved to be very durable, and in the third round had Poirier’s back, but instead of aggressively attacking for the finish he rode his back for the entirety of the round, which after losing the first two rounds I did not understand. Poirier took home the unanimous decision.

What’s next: Dustin Poirier- I would like to see him and Frankie Edgar go at it I think that would be a good fight. Erik Koch- As I said earlier I would like to see him and Clay Guida, the fight would keep one of them relevant and would be an exciting fight.

 

Jason

By Jason Sutcliffe

Benson Henderson vs Anthony Pettis

This is my most anticipated fight of the year. If Benson Henderson can strike with Pettis it will open up opportunities for him to use his wrestling, and If He uses his wrestling efficiently he should win enough rounds to get the decision.

Pettis has a striking advantage, and if can grapple with Benson when he has to and scramble back to his feet quickly, he should do well. He will most likely attempt to beat up Benson’s legs and body to slow him down and take the explosiveness out of his takedown attempts.

Pettis by Unanimous decision

Frank Mir vs Josh Barnett

This one is a battle between two old lions. I think this is Barnett’s fight to win. His stand-up is much better than Mir’s, and he has a much better killer instinct. He is meaner and has more weapons to win the fight. I do not think that Mir will be able to get it to the ground if he gets in trouble on the feet. Barnett’s wrestling experience will make him a more well rounded fighter.

Barnett 2nd round TKO

Chad Mendes vs Clay Guida

This has the potential to be a great battle depending on which Guida shows up. At the end of the day though I think the improvements Mendes has made with his striking under Duane Ludwig will make the difference. Clay is going to have to be the heavy volume striker that he has been in past fights in order to have success against Mendes.

Mendes 2nd round TKO

Vera vs Rothwell

For me, it is where does this fight take place. If Vera can keep the fight standing he is the accomplished striker and should have a sizable advantage, but If Rothwell can get the fight to the ground and obtain top control he will grind out a win over Vera. This will be the first fight that Rothwell is licensed to use TRT, so I am interested to see how he looks and if it makes a difference.

Vera 3rd round TKO

Koch vs Poirier

This is going to be a good fight. Koch is the better striker, but I think Poirier has the more all round game. I think Koch can close the gap a lot with his striking. This one could go either way. I personally believe it will be who lands the first clean combination or if Poirier can get it to the ground and get the submission.

Koch by split decision

The rest of the card:

Varner vs Tibau
Gaudinot vs Elliot
Krauss vs Lim
Camus vs Kang
Palelei vs Krylov
Iaquinta vs Couture
Hamman vs Cedenblad

Jason Head_Shot[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

Pettis vs Henderson 2 will go down this Saturday in Pettis’ hometown of Milwaukee. It is one of the most anticipated rematches in a long time. These two first met at WEC 53 where Pettis was able to steal the decision with the infamous “Showtime kick” off the fence in the final minute of the 5th round.

These two fighters match-up as close as two fighters possibly could. Both fighters have areas where they excel over the other, but both are very competent in all aspects of the game. We can find advantages and disadvantages all over the place in this fight.

Benson has a better all round game than Pettis, but it only matters if he is able to use all of his skills efficiently. Pettis has the better striking, Benson is the better wrestler and utilizes control better, and both fighters have great Jiu Jitsu and submission defence.

Both fighters have the same landing percentage with Anthony landing 43% to Benson’s 44%. However, Anthony  lands almost 30% more of his total strikes while standing, while Benson uses a lot more ground and pound. Anthony is a lot more dangerous, while the fight is standing. He is more technical, uses angels better, is more accurate and posses stopping power.

Benson has a slightly higher output of strikes, but Anthony is the more methodical striker. The clinch is where Anthony has the largest striking advantage and is where Benson is the least efficient. Anthony lands 63% of his power strikes to the head in the clinch to Benson’s 50%. Also, it is important to point out that in the clinch is where Benson is most vulnerable to strikes avoiding only 55%.

However, it should also be noted that Benson usually uses the clinch to initiate takedown attempts.

Benson has been on a 7-fight win streak since entering the UFC, which is very impressive. It is essential to point out that in all 7 of those fights he has been the better kick boxer. He has been better at utilizing range by using a variety of effective kicks and knees while using his wrestling to prevent the fight from going to the ground.

This is going to be a different situation, and one that Benson has not been in for a long time. With Pettis having the advantage at the kickboxing range, Henderson will have to use his wrestling to get the fight to the ground.

Pettis’ biggest advantage over Henderson in striking is that he is a finisher he has a lot more power than Benson. If the fight remains standing Pettis has the ability to end it with a big kick or punch. Benson is more of a point striker; he avoids a lot of strikes and throws a high volume of strikes out scoring his opponents.

Henderson is the better wrestler out of the two, but Anthony is more aggressive and a little bit slicker with his jiu jitsu. Pettis is the a fighter that is always on the offence no matter what. Whether he is standing, on top, or on his back he is going for the finish.

After the Clay Guida fight, a lot of people feel as though the blue print was out on how to beat Anthony Pettis. Clay was able to stifle his submission attempts and hold on to top control for the unanimous decision victory. I think it is a little soon to assume that is the blue print for beating Pettis. Pettis does not attempt takedowns very often but is very successful when he does finishing 77% of his attempts.

The first time these two met Henderson attempted 10 takedowns completing 3 of them while Pettis attempted 2 and completed both, as well as two sweeps. There first fight was so long ago that is probably a moot point, but is interesting all the same.

Henderson is very good at mixing up his striking and takedowns averaging 2-takedown attempts per round, to Pettis’ .7 per round. Where Pettis excels on the ground is with his ability to sweep from the bottom, and his aggressive submission attempts. It makes him very tricky and tough to manage.

Henderson has very effective ground and pound from the top position out striking opponents almost 3:1.

Both fighters’ are tight across the board statistically. Both fighters have a 65% takedown defence, and both have a 100% submission defence. In fact, Pettis has never been stopped, and Henderson has not been stopped since March 31st 2007, when Rocky Johnson submitted him via anaconda choke in his 3rd professional fight. So neither fighter is going to be easy to finish.

An interesting element to this fight is that we began to see improvements in Anthony’s wrestling in the Jeremy Stephens fight. Since then, we have only seen him in the octagon for a total of 3min 56sec that is under a round of tape for Benson to study.

Benson literally has less than a round to study from the past two years on Pettis. He finished Joe Lauzon in 1min 21sec and Donald Cerrone in 2min 35sec.

On the flip side of that coin, we have seen Benson fight 5 times for a total of 23 rounds. That is 115 minutes of tape for Pettis and his coaches to break down.

Now there are a couple different ways to look at it. Is it going to be an advantage for Benson because he has been more active and had a lot more experience in 5 round championship fights, or will it be an advantage for Pettis who will be able to breakdown Benson’s game and create a much more accurate well-informed game plan.

The X factor for Pettis as always is his unpredictability, He brings a different level of athleticism than Henderson is used to, and Henderson knows that better than anyone. Benson will have to be on his toes and look for Pettis to do things he has never seen before. Benson is normally very relaxed in the octagon, and being able to mess with that even a little bit will be valuable for Pettis during the fight.

Henderson’s X factor is going to be his confidence. He is riding high right now and seems unshakable in the octagon. This is a guy who fought Nate Diaz for 25 minutes with a toothpick in his mouth, has beaten Frankie Edgar twice and welcomed Gilbert Melendez to the UFC by beating him in San Jose. He is going to walk in the octagon Saturday night with swagger. He is going to carry himself like Pettis has been locked inside his octagon and that is going to be his biggest asset.

For me, I feel like if Benson is able to effectively wrestle and mix it in with his striking he is going to be a really tough puzzle to solve. If Anthony can grapple with Benson when he has to and maybe mix in a one or two takedowns of his own it will provide him with openings to land very powerful effective strikes and take the belt home. So, who will be able to implement their plan?I guess only time will tell.

I know this for sure though there is no fight that has happened or will happen this year that I am looking forward to more than this one. It is going to be a war, and I can not wait.

Jason

By Jason Sutcliffe

UFC Fight Night 27: Condit vs. Kampmann

Condit vs Kampmann

If this fight is anything like the first it is going to be a great battle. I like Condit in the rematch; his game has come a lot further than Kampmann’s since they last met. Condit’s aggression and killer instinct are second to none. He has always been susceptible to takedowns, but in preparation for Georges and Johnny and since, I have to think his level of wrestling is at a higher level than Martin Kampmann’s.

Carlos is more durable than Kampmann. His aggressive, technical style, and his desire for revenge should take him over the top.

Condit by 2nd Round TKO

Cerrone vs Dos Anjos

Dos Anjos is going to need to get this one to the ground. Cerrone is too good a striker and uses his range very well. I do not see Dos Anjos being able to deal with Cerrone’s sizeable striking advantage. Cerrone’s kicks are going to play a significant role in this fight. His ability to use range and keep Dos Anjos at a very uncomfortable range is going to allow him to pick him apart

Cerrone by 3rd round TKO

Gastelum vs Melancon

This one is going to be interesting I have not seen a lot of either fighter. The TUF is not always an accurate depiction of how a fighter’s career will go. Melancon looked great in his last performance. Even still I have to go with Gastelum I think he will be able to use his wrestling, avoid Melancon’s aggressive striking and take him down. I do not believe this will be the most impressive fight, but I will give it to the Gastelum.

Gastelum by decision

McGee vs Whitaker

Whitaker will be the better striker and is very dangerous, but Court is going to have a sizeable grappling advantage. This one comes down to Whitaker ability to land the big shots required to stop McGee before McGee takes him to the ground and implement his game plan. I have a feeling that McGee is going to get the nod in this one with his superior grappling.

McGee by decision

Mizugaki vs Perez

Perez is an up and coming talent in the Bantamweight division. Mizugaki has been in their with the top fighters in the division but has a very unimpressive record, and I do not think that it is going to get any better after tomorrow night. Perez is good talent and will stake his claim with the big dogs of the division after tomorrow night. If Perez wants to impress he is going to have to finish the durable Mizugaki.

Perez by decision

Tavares vs McDaniel

Tavares deserves a lot better than McDaniel considering his 5-1 record in the UFC. I do not see this one lasting long, Tavares should be able to make fairly quick work of the TUFF veteran.

Tavares first round KO

The remainder of the card:

Papy Abedi vs. Dylan Andrews
Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch
Darren Elkins vs. Hatsu Hioki
James Head vs. Jason High
Ben Alloway vs. Zak Cummings
Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo

Jason

By Jason Sutcliffe

It has been almost 41/2 years since Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann met in the octagon. Carlos Condit was the WEC Welterweight Champion making his UFC debut. Martin Kampmann was 5-1 in the UFC and starting his run into the upper etalons of the division. It was a good fight with the nod going to Kampmann by split decision.

Since then, it has been Carlos who has had more success and fought the bigger fights in the division. Normally I would dig into the statistics, but this is one fight that I do not believe they do justice to the breakdown. These fighters have had a different level of competition since they last met.

When they meet on the 28th, there is going to be a lot on the line. Carlos is going to be looking for redemption from a battle he feels as though he won, and Martin is going to look to take some of Calos’ hype as the #2 ranked fighter in the division.

I think that Carlos’ game has advanced further since the two last met. He has had the slightly tougher competition. Also, this is going to be a five round fight, and Carlos has a lot more experience with five round fights

Condit is coming off back-to-back losses for only the second time in his career. The significant pit fall in Carlos game is his wrestling. He lost to George and Johnny because he was unable to stop the takedown. His striking was on par with Georges ‘ and far better than Johnny’s, but he could not stop the takedown.

In preparation for both Georges and Johnny, I have to think that his wrestling defence has surpassed Martin’s takedown ability.

Martin is a solid striker; he has excellent technique and decent power. Statistically, he is a slightly better striker. Carlos may have had bit higher level of competition in the division, but Martin has fought the better strikers. He is more than capable of causing Carlos a world of problems while standing and striking. He is also very crafty on the ground and has a very tight submission game.

It seems as though it has been over a year since we seen Kampmann in the octagon. The last time we saw him he got knocked out by Johnny Hendricks in like 20-30 seconds.

There may be a bit of ring rust on Kampmann as he was never able to get into the fight with Hendricks.

I like Carlos in this fight. He is more durable than Kampmann in my opinion. Also, he is just plain tougher than Kampmann. Condit is going to be hungry and want revenge for the previous loss. Condit is already a killer, and with the added motivation I have to think he is going to be a bit too much for Martin.

Jason Head_Shot 2[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

Last night was an exciting night of fights, and a good launch for the Fox Sports 1 station. A lot of fighters put on great performances last night and made statements in their respective divisions. As I expected there were a lot of finishes last night, but none more surprising than the main event.

Chael vs. Shogun

Chael and Shogun took to the Octagon, and it went pretty well how I expected it to right until the finish. When the fight started in typical Chael fashion, he darted across the octagon and exploded through Shogun for the takedown.

It was clear that Chael had the stronger base and was a much better grappler. Every time Shogun went for an outside trip except for once Chael was able to toss him and gain top position. With both fighters back on their feet and in tight, Shogun put his head under Chael’s arm and left it there for the taking. Chael jumped all over it pulling guard and synching in a guillotine choke. Being so early in the fight neither fighter was all that sweaty, Shogun was unable to squeeze his head out and tapped.

What is next?

Chael wants a fight with Wanderlei Silva—badly. I would like to see both fighters make the move to 185. I think there are a lot of fights waiting for both fighters. I would love to see a Shogun/Vitor fight. That is probably just a pipe dream though. If Shogun stays at light heavyweight maybe a fight with James Te Huna would be interesting.

Overeem vs. Browne

Browne showed a ton of promise and even more heart. There is no quitting in this dude. Overeem took control from the start. He forced Browne into the fence, engaged in the clinch and drilled knees into Browne’s body. At one point, Reem was able to buckle Browne, and drop him. Reem moved in for the kill, but Browne showed unbelievable heart and survived the onslaught of punches, working his way back up to the feet.

Once Browne was able to make space from Overeem he began to use his kicking game to keep Overeem at bay. He landed a few front kicks to Overeem’s face that he was able to take but never made adjustments to defend against the technique. Eventually, Browne was able to land one that Overeem was unable to shrug off, and it dropped him. Browne leaped in for the finish, and after some ground and pound the ref jumped in and stop the fight.

What is next?

I would like to see a rematch withTravis Browne and Antonio Silva; that has to happen. For Overeem, it is tough to say. He has suffered two devastating losses in a row. He is 1-2 in the UFC, and I have to think he is on his last leg. If he remains employed by the UFC maybe a fight with Mark Hunt that would be entertaining

Jason Head_Shot[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

I am looking forward to an exciting night of fights Saturday, when the UFC goes live from Boston for the first time. This card’s great, and I expect that there will be a lot of knockouts and submissions there are a lot of finishers on the card.

Let’s take a look at the card from top to bottom, and I will give a very brief analysis and make my predictions.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Chael Sonnen

This is an interesting fight. Everything comes down to whether Shogun can stop the takedown, and his conditioning. If Shogun can prevent Sonnen takedowns he will in all likelihood knock Chael out in the early rounds. Shogun has had issues with his cardio this is going to be a significant factor in the fight. Sonnen is going to try and grind Shogun down with his gritty, high pressure ground game and take home a lob-sided decision win. I am interested in seeing how this one turns out.

My Prediction: I hesitantly pick Sonnen by Unanimous decision

Alistaire Overeem vs. Travis Browne

For me, this one is going to depend on where it takes place. Browne is going to have to stay off the fence, use his footwork and head movement if he wants to win this fight. For Overeem, he is going to want to pressure Browne and limit his movement by backing him into the fence where he can utilize his clinch game, and maybe score a takedown here and there. Overeem is going to have the power advantage, but Browne will be the faster fighter with a lot better movement.

My Prediction: Overeem by 3rd round TKO

Urijah Faber vs. Iuri Alcantara

This is going to be a great fight. Urijah has a good all-round game and is going to want to use his speed. I expect he will mix in some takedown attempts and create some scrambles and in typical Faber fashion look to synch in a choke. Alcantara also has a great all-round game. He strikes harder and is more accurate. Iuri may be the better striker, but Urijah is hard to hit, he will have to increase the volume of his strikes. Urijah utilizes a lot of movement, so he has to be first to act he can not get caught watching him or hesitating.

My Prediction: Urijah Faber by 2nd round submission

Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle

Matt Brown gets in opponents grill and pressures him with strikes until he breaks, style of fighter. It favours him to strike from the outside in this fight, but we all know that probably will not happen. Brown has become a much more developed martial artist and has improved his takedown defence a great deal. His aggressive style in this fight could wind up working against him. Pyle needs to take this fight to the mat where he has the biggest advantage. He should be able to dominate if he can do that. He may have enough confidence in his striking to stand with Brown. Brown has an uncanny ability to make fighters, fight his fight.

My Prediction: Matt Brown by 2nd round TKO

Urijah Hall vs. John Howard

This is Hall’s fight to lose. They are both solid strikers but Hall is better. Where Hall would be exploited, is his takedown defence, wrestling and JJ skills. Howard is not nearly a skilled enough grappler to beat him. Hall’s speed and striking accuracy will make the difference. John will need to take the fight where it suits him best. He needs to make this a Muay Thai fight. He needs to make it ugly; get in close and dirty box, beat up his legs. If this is a pretty striking match, he is in a lot of trouble. Hall is a lot faster and a lot more athletic.

My Prediction: Hall by 2nd round TKO

Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson

Joe Lauzon is going to be pumped fighting in his hometown and has a lot of experience on his side. Lauzon is crafty and very dangerous, and he aggressively pursues the finish. He will likely want to get this fight to the ground where he has the biggest advantage. Michael Johnson needs to keep this fight standing he is more athletic than Joe, and probably has a bit of an advantage striking. If he ends up on the ground, he will have to be cautious of Joe’s sub game, and safely get back to his feet.

My Prediction: Joe Lauzon 1st round submission

My Prediction for the Fox Sports 1 Preliminary card:

Brad Pickett vs. Michael McDonald
Conor McGregor vs. Max Hollaway
Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler
Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda
Manny Gamburyan vs. Cole Miller
Cody Donovan vs. Ovince St. Preux
Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick