This Week In MMA

 ·         UFC Fight Night 16: Fight For the Troops – Wednesday, December 10th

This event is a special bonus for fight fans.  Also, it is a stand up gesture by the UFC.  Say what you want about Dana White and the UFC, but no other fight organizations show the benevolence that the UFC does.  The goal of these fights is to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen heroes Fund.  Click here to find out more or to make donations.  Not only is it a good cause, but there are several good fights.  We will see stars such as Josh Ksocheck, Mike Swick, Matt Wiman, Jim Miller, WEC champ Steve Cantwell, and Luigi Fiorvanti.  Tune in to SPIKE on Wednesday Night to watch this event. 

o   Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

o   Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet

o   Matt Wiman vs. Jim Miller

o   Steve Cantwell vs. Razak Al-Hussan

o   Liugi Fioravanti vs. Brodie Farber

o   Nate Loughran vs. Tim Credeur

o   Steve Bruno vs. Johnny Rees

o   Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCully

o   Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff

o   Corey Hill vs. Dale Hartt

·         Adrenaline MMA 2 – Thursday, December 11

Some good fights on tap here.  The biggest enw may be the return of legend, Pat Miletich against Thomas Denny.  Also in action will be former IFL Heavyweight champ Ben Rothwell, rising Heavyweight star Mike Russow and several other notable fighters. 

o   Pat Miletich vs. Thomas Denny

o   Ben Rothwell vs. Chris Guillen

o   Mike Russow vs. Branden Bice

o   LC Davis vs. Billy Kidd

o   Mike Ciesnolevicz vs. Derrick Mehmen

o   Gabe Lemley vs. Dan Loman

o   Ryan McGivern vs. Geno Roderick

o   Pat Curran vs. Ramiro “Junior” Hernandez

o   Jesse Lennox vs. Ryan Williams

·         Mixed Fighting Alliance – Saturday, December 13

This boasts a solid main event between two heavyweight legends in Monson and Rodriquez.  The big news will be the debut of WWE star Bobby Lashley.  The question will be can he do what Lesnar has done? 

o   Jeff Monson vs. Ricco Rodriquez

o   Bobby Lashley vs. Joshua Franklin

o   Ariel Grandulla vs. David Baggett

·         The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale – Saturday, December 13th                   

I do not know of another TUF finale that I have been so excited about.  This season has all the 16 cast members fighting on this card.  Two exciting finals and two exciting bouts of non TUF cast members in Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia and a re-match between Kevin Burns and Anthony Johnson.

o   Ryan Bader vs. Vinny Magalhes

o   Phillipe Nover vs. Efrain Escudero

o   Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia

o   Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns

o   Junie Allen Browning vs. Dave Kaplan

o   Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Shane Primm

o   Eliot Marshall vs. Jules Bruchez

o   Kyle Kingsbury vs. Tom Lawlor

o   Shane Nelson vs. George Roop

o   Rolando Delgado vs. John Polakowski

 

 

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My UFC Fights for The Troops Preview and Predictions

Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

Koscheck is the obvious favorite here, but there has been a lot of drama in his life recently. Koscheck is coming off of a loss to Thiago Silva at UFC 90.  Also, there is all the drama that has been going on at AKA.  Koscheck apparently is right in the middle and will not sign the agreement.  Franklin McNeil, on MMA Live, speculated that this could be Koscheck’s last UFC fight win or loose.  I don’t know about that, but I do know he may have some distractions.  That has to affect him.  If it wasn’t for that I would clearly pick Kos to win.  Yoshida may be a good pick for some of our risky betters out there.  Yoshida is a well roudned fighter who looked very good against War Machine in his debut.  Yoshida is a solid judoka with well rounded MMA skills.  Koscheck is a wretler first, but has much improved striking skills.  Which Koscheck will we see?  There is a part of me which wants to pick Yoshida to win this fight, and he very well could, but the safe pick is still Koscheck.  I will pick Koscheck to win by unaimous decision.

Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet

Goulet has looked better lately than he had before.  However, his lasts two wins came over Kuniyoshi Hironaka and Paul Georgieff.  He has a career 4-3 record in the UFC.  Goulet is a decent fighter who can be very aggressive, however Mike Swick is a legit top ten welterweight and could climb higher.  I do not expect Swick to fall of the horse against Goulet.  When it comes down to it I think Swick is better all around and I think he will take this fight by TKO in round 2.

 Matt Wiman vs. Jim Miller

The original fight was slated to be Wiman vs. Frank Edgar, however last week Edgar was forced to withdraw due to an injury.  Jim Miller is a solid replacement that many feel could really climb into elite status in the UFC.  Miller is a gamer.  He steps in on little notice against a very good opponent in Matt Wiman.  A lot of people forget that Wiman is 4-0 since coming off of The Ultimate Fighter Season 5.  Guys like Maynard, Diaz, and Lauzon have gotten all the attention from that season of TUF, but Wiman is right there with them.  This is a tough fight to pick.  Miller ought to have better wrestling and better jiu jitsu than Wiman.  Whereas Wiman ought to have better striking skills.  When it comes down to it one of the questions would have to be Miller’s cardio in stepping in near last minute.  Will it be a factor?  I see this as a tough fight between two guys climbing the ladder at 155.  In the end I think Miller wins it by decision.  However, watch for the submission and watch Wiman’s hands.

Steve Cantwell vs. Razak Al-Hussan

Cantwell is young and very underrated.  He was not expected to beat Stann in their second fight, but I have to believe that Cantwell got on the radar with his win over Stann.  Cantwell has great striking skills.  Cantwell appears to be fairly versatile as a fighter.  I have a feeling that this fight will stay standing and that Cantwell will win by TKO in round 1.

Nate Loughran vs. Tim Credeur

Nate Loughran is 1-0 in the UFC, with his win coming over Johnny Rees.  Loughran also boasts a 9-0 career record.  However, he is stepping in against a solid veteran in Tim Credeur.  Credeur did very will on the Ultimate Fighter 7, loosing twice in the semi-finals to Jesse Taylor and C.B. Dolloway.  Credeur is best known for his very good ground skills.  Loughran also has some ground skills, 8 of his 9 wins have come by way of submission.  I look for this fight to eventually hit the ground and to become very technical.   I look for Credeur to win by submission in round 2.

Luigi Fiorvanti vs. Brodie Farber

The military fans love Luigi Fiorvanti, the ex-marine.  Fiorvanti is coming off of a disappointing loss to Diego Sanchez.  Farber is also coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Rory Markham.  It appeared Farber was about to finish Markham off when Markham landed a head kick that KO’d Farber is highlight reel fashion.  I think Fraber is a solid fighter.  The loser of this fight very well could be out of the UFC.   I really think that Luigi will come pumped and ready to win for the fans at this one.  That is why I think that Fiorvanti wins this win by TKO in round 2.

Steve Bruno vs. Johnny Rees

Steve Bruno, who trains out of American Top Team is 0-1 in the UFC, with his loss coming to Chris Wilson.  Rees is also 0-1 in the UFC losing his bout to Nate Loughran.  This is another bout of the loser leaves the UFC.  Therefore, I pick Steve Bruno to win by decision.

Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCully

Sanchez will want this fight to stay standing.  McCully may just want to stand and trade as well.  If it stays on its feet I really expect Sanchez to pull out a win by KO or TKO and that is what I think will happen. 

Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff

Wolff is a highly regarded fighter.  Saunder is a solid fighter and TUF 6 alum.  These guys could really go at it on Wednesday.  In the end I pick Wolff to win by decision.

Corey Hill vs. Dale Hartt

Corey Hill was expected to be a very good fighter and that is why the UFC has kept him around despite his inexperience.  He has no ground game, but he does have great Muay Thai.  The loser of this fight will be sent packing from the UFC.   I think Hill’s size will be the difference.  Corey Hill by TKO in round 1. 

MMABlog’s Heavyweight MMA Rankings

 

Below I posted my heavyweight rankings.  My other rankings will be posted today as well.  Certainly the rankings could change a litte bit following UFC 90.  I’d love to hear your debate and arguments as these rankings are somewhat subjective.

 

Rank

Name

Organization

Next Fight

1

Fedor Emelianenko

Affliction

Arlovski (#4) 1/24

2

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

UFC

Mir (#11), 12/27

3

Randy Couture

UFC

Lesnar (#16), 11/15

4

Andrei Arlovski

Affliction

Emelianenko (#1) 1/24

5

Josh Barnett

Affliction

1/24

6

Fabricio Werdum

UFC

Do Santos (NR), 10/25

7

Gabriel Gonzaga

UFC

Hendricks (NR), 11/15

8

Tim Sylvia

Afliction

 

9

Alistair Overeem

DREAM/Strikeforce

 

10

Cheick Kongo

UFC

Al Turk (NR), 12/27

11

Frank Mir

UFC

Nogueira (#2) , 12/27

12

Ben Rothwell

Affliction

 

13

Aleksander Emelianenko

Affliction

 

14

Mirko Cro Cop

DREAM

 

15

Sergei Kharitonov

DREAM

 

16

Brock Lesnar

UFC

Couture (#3), 11/15

17

Roy Nelson

Affliction

 

18

Cain Velasquez

UFC

 

19

Antonio Silva

EliteXC?

 

20

Shane Carwin

UFC

 

21

Heath Herring

UFC

 

22

Dave Herman

EliteXC?

 

23

Pedro Rizzo

Affliction?

 

24

Brett Rogers

EliteXC?

 

25

Ricco Rodriquez

EliteXC?

 

My UFC 86 Thoughts and Recap

Quick Results:

Forrest Griffin def. Quinton Rampage Jackson

Patrick Cote def. Ricardo Almeida by split decision

Joe Stevenson def. Gleison Tibau by Gulliotine Choke

Josh Koscheck def. Chris Lytle by Unanimous Decision

Tyson Griffin def. Marcus Aurelio by Unanimous Decision

Gabriel Gonzaga def. Justin McCully by Submission (Kimura)

Melvin Guillard def. Denis Siver by TKO

Cole Miller def. Jorge Gurgel by Submission

Justin Buchholtz def. Corey Hill by Submission

My Thoughts:

  • Let me first say that UFC 86 was disappointing to me.  I understand the main event was a great fight in many people’s minds, but it disappointed me.  Furthermore, I was highly disappointed with the other fight that was so hyped in Patrick Cote vs. Ricardo Almeida
  • Congratulations to the new Light Heavyweight Champion, Forrest Griffin.  I slammed him the whole time.  I said constantly he was not the number one contender over and over again. He fought well against Jackson.  I do not know how long he can retain the belt, but I give him credit.
  • I do not like to see someone’s belt taken over a very close decision fight.  That decision could have easily gone the other way.  To be honest I thought it was a draw or slightly to Rampage.  Here is how I scored it: Round 1 (10-9 Jackson) Round 2 (10-8 Griffin) Round 3 (10-9 Jackson) Round 4 (10-9 Jackson) Round 5 (10-9 Griffin) Total: 47-47 Draw
  • Rampage showed he has no ground game and that will be a problem against some guys.  Although the majority of the light heavyweights would rather stand and bang anyways. 
  • Forrest had great heart and a great game plan, utilizing those leg kicks which won the fight in the judge’s minds
  • While Forrest was the underdog he was the crowd favorite and the announcer favorite.  That biased commentary made me mad.  My impression of Joe Rogan, “Oh man, did you see how Forrest hit Rampage’s fist with his head, he must have learned that from Randy.”
  • I will be ticked if they give Cote a title shot.  He didn’t deserve to win.  I also had that fight going differently than the judges. 
  • I was not overly impressed with Almeida outside of round 1 and was never impressed with Patrick Cote
  • Find a different contender, you still have Okami, but also you have the likes of Bisping, Kampmann, etc. 
  • Joe Stevenson looked strong against a very game Gleison Tibau.  Tibau had Stevenson locked up in round 1 and was winning the fight when Joe submitted him.  That’s part of the game.  Joe is a class act and I am glad “Daddy” won.   He showed he is a top level lightweight
  • Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle was my fight of the night.  Koscheck looked great.   I know everyone is down on Koscheck and I am not a fan, but he is talented.  Why boo the dude after he put on a great fight?  Lytle is a warrior as that cut was huge.  Koscheck is a top 5 welterweight and solidified that at UFC 86.
  • Tyson Griffin keeps getting better.  He still needs to finish, but he looked very, very good.  Griffin may be near the top of the lightweight ranks.
  • Melvin Guillard destroyed Dennis Siver and that KO was vicious.   siver needs to be dropped by the UFC.

 

 

 

My Fight Of the Night: Jush Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle

UFC Fight Of The Night: Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

My Knockout Of The Night: Melvin Guillard

UFC Knockout Of The Night: Melvin Guillard

My Submission Of The Night: Cole Miller

UFC Submission Of The Night: Cole Miller

UFC 86 Discussion

Hey this is MMAblog’s official UFC 86 discussion.  Please post comments and predictions.  Let me give my picks and you can debate me or rub it in my face if I am wrong…

My Quick Picks:

  • Jackson
  • Almeida
  • Koscheck
  • Griffin
  • Stevenson
  • Gonzaga
  • Guillard
  • Miller
  • Hill

Also, you can sign up and make predictions at www.mmapredictions.com or fantasy picks at www.ufc.com

UFC 86 Weigh In Video

Watch the official UFC 86 weigh ins here. Beware of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s scratch n’ sniff underwear.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “UFC 86 Weigh In Video“, posted with vodpod

 

My UFC 86 Predictions

Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin 

This match has been a long time in the waiting.  Jackson is clearly the favorite going into this fight.  I believe that Jackson is a better all around fighter than Forrest is, however on any given night a guy like Forrest can beat a better guy (as he did against Shogun).  I think the countdown to UFC 86 got it right when the compared Forrest to Rocky Balboa, a guy who has done very well and has exceeded his skill set.  Forrest is tough as nails and he trains harder than anyone in the sport.  Rampage has knockout power and he is not afraid to slam someone.  There are several story lines going into this fight.  Many people will talk about the rivalry being developed through season 7 of the Ultimate Fighter.  Many will talk about how Forrest beat Shogun and Shogun beat Rampage.  Many will talk about Wanderlei Silva helping Forrest prepare for Rampage since Wanderlei has two wins over Jackson.  There wil be a ton of people rooting for Forrest in this fight.  When all is said and done though I do not think that Forrest is as good of a fighter as Ramapge.  He could win, I am not counting him out, but the odds on favorite has to be Rampage and to pick against him in this fight as far as I am concerned would be silly.  I do not know how this fight will go.  It could end quickly with a KO or it could go the distance.  Nevertheless I am picking Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to win via TKO in round 3. 

Ricardo Almeida vs. Patrick Cote

Patrick Cote is a solid fighter who has impressed as of late.  He looks renewed and he has shown some skills since The Ultimate Fighter 4.  This fight as being billed as the winner gets a title shot.  Of course I believe they need to move in line behind Yushin Okami, but I would agree that the winner here could be justified as a top 5 middleweight.  There is no secret to these fighter’s strengths.  Cote excells standing up and can knock anyone out with one punch.  Ricardo Almeida is a ground wiz.  He is one of the best ji jitsu guys in MMA.  He has beaten great ground fighters like Nate Marquardt.  My question for Almeida is going to be in regards to how he will continue to do since coming out of retirement.  Alemida just quit MMA at his prime.  He was doing great and then quit.  He then returned at UFC 81 with a win over Rob Yundt.  Almeida moved from the undecard to co-main event after one fight.  I have no problem with that as I feel Almeida is great.  Since losing to Travis Lutter at the TUF 4 Finale, Patrick Cote has reeled off impressive wins over Scott Smith, Jason Day, Kendall Grove, and Drew McFedries.  That isn’t too bad, and it shows why Cote is in title contention.  Although separated by several yeats Almeida comes into this fight with a 7 fight win streak.  Including wins over Nate Marquardt, Ryo Chonan, and Kazuo Misaki.  Misaki and Marquardt are considered by many to be top ten mdidleweights and Chonan isn’t too shabby either.  This is a classic ground fighter versus stand up fighter fight.  If Almeida gets this to the ground Cote may be in trouble.  I have a feeling Almeida has worked hard on take downs and I am sure Cote has worked hard on take down defense.  I think this fight will not last past round 1.  It will either end with a Cote KO or Almeida submission.  I think Almeida’a experience will pay off and he will be able to take Cote down and submit him.  I pick Ricardo Almeida by submission in round 1. 

Joe Stevenson vs. Gleison Tibau

Following Joe Stevenson’s fight with B.J. Penn many people forgot about Joe Stevenson as a contender in the lightweight divison.  Let’s not forget that Stevenson is a top notch fighter.  He is a tough dude, who didn’t do too badly against B.J. Penn. Tibau is 3-2 in the UFC with his losses coming to Nick Diaz and Tyson Griffin.  Tibau is a good fighter, but I do not know if he is on Joe “Daddy” level.  Joe has some quality wins in the UFC.  In the end I think Joe Stevenson’s wrestling will prove too much and he will beat Tibau via unanimous decision. 

Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle

Koscheck is 8-2 in the UFC.  Like Joe Stevenson, he has been forgotten since his loss to Georges St. Pierre.  Don’t forget folks that Josh Koscheck (love him or hate him) is a contender in the UFC middleweight divison and is clearly a top 5 guy in the divison.  He has wins over good fighters in Diego Sanchez and Dustin Hazelett.  Chris Lytle is no push over.  Lytle has been around the UFC for a while, debuting at UFC 28. I believe Lytle is 4-8 in the UFC.  He has lost to some good fighters in Matt Serra, Matt Hughes, Karo Parisyan, Thiago Alves, Robbie Lawler, Joe Riggs, and Nick Diaz.  He has fought some top notch fighters.  He just hasn’t beaten the top tier guys.  I though Lytle was done prior to his highlight reel KO of Kyle Bradley.  Is Lytle going to be a sacrificial lamb to get Koscheck back into contention talk?  I believe so.  Lytle could stun everyone and KO Koscheck, but Koscheck is a good fighter who is improving.  He needs a win here.  A win here will set him up for a fight against another top contender.  I look for Koscheck to shoot, get the takedown, take the mount and pound out Lytle.  I pick Josh Koscheck by TKO in round 2. 

Marcus Aurelio vs. Tyson Griffin

Tyson Griffin is always a part of great fights.  This could be a great match, which quite honestly I have a hard time picking.  Aurelio has a 16-5 record in MMA, however 4 of those 5 losses are split decision losses.  He lost a controversial split decision to Clay Guida in his UFC debut and a split decision loss to Takanori Gomi.  Aurelio has big wins over top tier fighters including a win over Takanori Gomi.  Aurelio trains out of the American Top team with guys like Thiago Alves.  Aurelio is a top tier lightweight.  The winner of this fight is no doubt in serious contention (behind Huerta and Florian).  This has the makings of a great fight, but I look for it to go the distance.  Quite honestly this is a toss up in my mind.  Both Griffin and Aurelio have top training.  Both can hold their own striking and on the ground.  I do not know who has the advantages anywhere.  Interestingly, both have recently fought a common opponent in Clay Guida.  Tyson Griffin won a split decision with Guida and Aurelio lost a split decision to Guida.  In other words, that doesn’t tell us much.  Both can hang with the big dogs.  I will pick Tyson Griffin by split decision.  (That sure would stink for Aurelio to have 5 of his 6 losses by split decision, perhaps he knows the danger of leaving it for the judges). 

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Justin McCully

Gonzaga has gone from main event to under card quickly.  He las lost to Couture and Werdum and is now trying to climb back into contention.  This fight may make it onto the pay per view card.  This fight will tell us a lot about Gonzaga.  He gained a lot of attention for his incredible knock out of Mirko Cro Cop.  Since then he has lost to Couture and Werdum and hasn’t looked great.  This fight will tell us if Gonzaga is a fluke.  McCully is a good fighter, so it will be interesting.  I still think Gonzaga is a top level fighter and I think that he will pull out a win here.  I pick Gonzaga by TKO in round 1. 

Jorge Gurgel vs. Cole Miller

Gurgel is a great trainer and he is 3-2 in the UFC, but he hasn’t beaten anyone notable yet.  Cole Miller is 2-1 in the UFC and looked good on the Ultimate Fighter season 5.  I think that this fight is evenly matched and I think that in the end Cole Miller will get the win by unanimous decision.

Melvin Guillard vs. Dennis Siver

Melvin Guillard is super talented. This may be his last chance in the UFC.  If he loses he is done.  He is already on record saying he’d like to move over to the WEC.  He would do well there.  I don’t think he is done yet though.  I think Guillard will win this one by TKO in round 3. 

Justin Bucholz vs. Corey Hill  

Rumor has is that Corey Hill is improving greatly.  He looked great in his last fight against Joe veres, but Buchholz is  astep up in talent.  I still think Hill will prevail.  Hill’s height will prove too much and he will utilize his reach and the muay thai clinch.  Hill is a 6;4” lightweight! I pick Corey Hill by a barage of knees and TKO in round 1. 

Upset Watch*: Marcus Aurelio over Tyson Griffin; Chris Lytle over Josh Koscheck

Fight of the Night Prediction: Tyson Griffin vs. Marcus Aurelio

Knockout of the Night Prediction: Quinton Jackson

Submission of the Night Prediction: Ricardo Almeida

* Upset watch denotes my picks which I feel could turn into upsets, in other words, these are my picks I would least be shocked if they were wrong.