Why Are U.K. Fans Upset With UFC 95?

If you look at UFC 95 on paper it is quick to see that it is not the best UFC card by a mile.  I have heard it said that U.K. fans are less than pleased with the card so far.  I understand their feelings.  However, I am not too upset because it airs free on SPIKE TV.  I would be hesitant to spend $44.00 on this card.  However, let me say this: UFC 95 is one fight away from being a dynamic card.  The problem with UFC 95 is a lack of a main event.  Also, for many in the U.K. it may be the absent Michael Bisping.  Diego Sanchez’s lightweight debut against Joe Stevenson may be interesting, but it is not main event interesting.  Both guys are super talented, but not main event talented.  Co-main event? Maybe.  So, my theory is that UFC 95 is a main event short of being a great card.  Imagine with me for a second that UFC 95 featured a main event with a big name fighter that is main event worthy.  Then the televised portion would follow with…

2. Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson

3. Demian Maia vs. Chael Sonnen

4. Nate Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia

5. Junior Dos Santos vs. Stefan Struve or Dan Hardy vs. Rory Markham

If they find a solid main event UFC 95 would stack up against any other card.  Here is the importance of this:  The UFC has openly seeking to go international.  Their largest fan bases outside the U.S. are in Canada and the U.K.  They do not want to disappoint those fans.  Reward them for their loyalty.  Find a good main event.  See if you cannot bribe Rashad Evans to fight Quinton Jackson here.  See if you cannot get a Randy Couture vs. Nogueira fight chalked up.  Bump Liddell up from UFC 96.  Whatever it takes.  Dana White and Joe Silva must realize that the U.K. is the gateway to the European market.  Give them a better main event that Sanchez vs. Stevenson.  This is a better card than some will credit it for being, but it does lack a main event.  You can breeze by with a solid main event and a less than solid rest of the card, but a solid rest of the card without a solid main event may be tough to sell.

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UFC News: Nate Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia at UFC 95

Nate “The Great” Marquardt appears to have lost his bid to be an Ultimate Fighter coach, but he does appear to still be in the title picture.  He will fight next at UFC 95 against Wilson Gouveia.  Gouviea is coming off of an impressive TKO win over Jason MacDonald at the Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale.  However, Gouveia failed to make weight.  He is stiking around at 185 and that win should have catapolted him up the division. 

This could be a great match between two very well roudned fighters who are both coming off of big wins.  The winner will certainly move towards the top tier of the division.

The Ultimate Fighter 8 Thoughts and Recap

Results:

  • Efrain Escudero defeats Phillippe Nover via Unanimous Decision
  • Ryan Bader defeats Vinicius Magalhaes via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
  • Wilson Gouveia defeats Jason Macdonald via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
  • Anthony Johnson defeats Kevin Burns via TKO (Head Kick) Round 3
  • Junie Browning defeats David Kaplan via Submission (Armbar) Round 2
  • Krzysztof Soszynski defeats Shane Primm via submission (kimura) in round two
  • Eliot Marshall defeats Jules Bruchez via submission (rear naked choke) in round one
  • Tom Lawlor defeats Kyle Kingsbury via unanimous decision
  • Shane Nelson defteas George Roop via split decision
  • Rolando Delgado defeats John Polakowski via submission (guillotine choke) in round two

Bonuses ($25,000 each):

  • Fight of the Night: Junie Browning vs. Dave Kaplan
  • Submission of the Night: Krzysztof Soszynski
  • Knockout of the Night: Anthony Johnson

Thoughts:

  • First off, congratulations to the Ultimate Fighter 8 winners Efrain Escudero and Ryan Bader!
  • Efrain dominated Phillipe.  I was honestly shoscked.  The difference was Efrain’s wrestling.  He continually went under Phillipe’s punches and got the take down at will.  Efrain is a good kid who deserved the win. He has a bright future in the UFC.  Efrain had the toughest road to the finals by submitting Shane Nelson and Junie Browning. 
  • Phillipe Nover will also have a good career in the UFC.  He will be back. While it may be admried that he has been loyal to his gym, Team Insight for many years, I think he could use stints witht the likes of Shawm Thompkins at Xtreme Couture and Greg Jackson. 
  • Ryan Bader needed ones round to KO Vinny Magalhes.  Bader threw one right that clipped Vinny.  Quite honestly it looked like it was blocked, but Vinny fell and ate 3 or 4 hammer fists before turtling up and the fight being stopped.  Bader did what his friend, teamate and roomate, C.B. Dolloway could not and that is win The Ultimate Fighter.
  • Vinny needs work on striking and on taking a punch.  IF he cac do that he can be a force in the octagon.
  • Anthony Johnson had another highlight reel KO of Kevin Burns.  I feel justice was served.
  • Wilson Gouveia was just in another league than Jason MacDonald.  Wilson Gouveia could be a real force at 185 lbs…that is if he can make the cut.
  • Junie Browning was very, very impressive.  I was shocked by how good he looked.  His triking looked crisp.  His footwork and head movement were great. His grappling and submissions game was top notch.  UFC 155 lb division watch out for Junie Browning.  No, really!  By the way, how about the classy move of his to apologize to Coach Mir and the fans for his antics on the show.  Good move Junie.  Stay out of trouble and the sky is the limit.
  • Krzysztof Soszynski dominated Shane Primm.  Then he pulled off a sweet kimura which earned him $25,000 and submission of the night. 
  • Eliot Marshall also looked phenonmenal against Jules Bruschez.  He came out aggressive and looked good standing and looked better on the ground
  • There are sure to be some of these guys let go.  Let me tell you how it should work:
  • Who to keep: Ryan Bader, Vinny Magalhes, Krzysztof Soszynski, Eliot Marshall, Efrain Escudero, Phillipe Nover, Junie Browning, and Shane Nelson
  • Who to dump: Jules Bruschez, Shane Primm, Kyle Kingsbury, Dave Kaplan, George Roop, John Polakowski,
  • Who to give one more chance to because of their finale win: Roli Delgado and Tim Lawlor

TUF 8 Finale Predictions

Phillipe Nover vs. Efrain Escudero

These two fighters have a huge ceiling as far as talent goes.  In fact, I think either of these guys could be contenders eventually.  I would put both of them up against many UFC lightweights right now.  Escudero really impressed on the show.  I saw many people picking him to go far in forums, but I was a doubter.  In fact when he was matched against Shane Nelson I thought he was done.  When he was matched against Junie I thought he was done.  Efrain has greta wrestling and great submissions.  That tirangle choke on Nelson was sick.  We may not really know how good Efrain is because he had the tougher road to the finals.  It is really possible that he beat two of the best guys in the house.  Phillipe has to beware of Efrain’s submissions.  Dana White has been in this business a while and like him or not he knows MMA and recognizes talent.  Dana raved over Phillipe.  In fact, he says that Nover may be the most talented kids ever on The Ultimate Fighter.  That is saying something considering TUF has produced names like Forrest Griffin, Diego Sanchez, Rashad Evans, Joe Stevenson, Kenny Florian, Michael Bisping, Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck, Matt Hamill, Stephan Bonnar, Nate Diaz, Gray Maynard, etc.  Nover looks to have a complete skill set.  His striking and muay thai seems to be unrivaled at 155 lbs.  He showed slick submission skills.  I would not keel over with a heart attack if Efrain won, but Nover has to be the favorite and that is why I am picking Phillipe to win by submission in round 1.  However, both of these guys have bright futures in the UFC. 

Phillipe Nover

vs.

Efrain Escudero

 

Nickname

NR

MMA Blog Rank

NR

155 Lbs.

Weight Class

155 Lbs.

5-0-1 (0-0 UFC)

Record

10-0 (0-0 UFC)

For The Ultimate Fighter 8 Lightweight Championship

Ryan Bader vs. Vinny Magalhes

If someone would have told me this would have beent he fight for the finals I would not have doubted it, but I would have picked Bader to dominate.  However, after the semi-finals my opinion has changed slightly.  Bader won, won easily, but did not look great in his lay n’ pray victory.  Vinny looked very good against fellow Team Quester Krzystof Sosynski.  Vinny has fantastic ground skills.  Some have said he is one of the best in the world.  I agree.  Bader could be in trouble.  Bader has a solid wrestling pedigree.  He will look to use his wrestling to keep the fight standing.  Vinny insists that he has improved his striking and will win by knockout.  I don’t see that happening.  Vinny seems timid and reluctant with striking and does not like getting hit.  Bader has KO power.  I would be shocked if Vinny’s chin is not tested.  That will be the test.  If the fight goes to the ground it gets interesting.  Can Vinny work a submission while being punched?  Can Bader avoid submissions?  I worry that this finale will end just like the finale with his teamate C.B. Dolloway.  Anyways, I pick Bader by decision, but watch out for submissions.

Ryan Bader

vs.

Vinny Magalhes

Darth

Nickname

Pezao

NR

MMA Blog Rank

NR

205 Lbs.

Weight Class

205 Lbs.

7-0 (0-0 UFC)

Record

For The Ultimate Fighter 8 Light Heavyweight Championship

Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia

This is a hard fight to pick.  MacDonald is a very good and so is Gouveia.  Wilson did well at light heavyweight, but dropped to 185 lbs following his loss to Goran Reljic.  Gouveia is a good jiu jitsu player, but MacDonal showed against Demian Maia that he has decent submission defense.  I think MacDonald is better all around.  I think MacDonald will beware of Gouviea’s submissions and will win by decision.  By the way, I am wavering on this fight prediction.

Wilson Gouveia

vs.

Jason MacDonald

 

Nickname

 The Athlete

17

MMA Blog Rank

15

185 Lbs.

Weight Class

185 Lbs.

11-5 (5-2 UFC)

Record

21-10 (5-3 UFC)

Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns

This is a re-match of an earlier fight that ended in controversy.  Burns poked Johnson numerous times in the eye and it led to Johnson falling down due to an eye poke and Burns being declared the winner by TKO.  Horrible decision.  However, the re-match should be good.  Burns is a godo fighter and he did not want the fight to end that way.  he says that he was forced to strike with an open hand because of a broken hand.  Howeverm he says it is fixed.  Johnson is looking for revenge.  We saw in the Johnson vs. Tommy Speer fight what Johnson is capable of.  Don’t look for him to walk through Burns.  Burns has solid all around.  He submitted Roan Carneiro in his UFC debut.  I still think Johnson wins this fight by TKO in round 2. 

Anthony Johnson

vs.

Kevin Burns

Rumble

Nickname

The Fire

NR

MMA Blog Rank

NR

170 Lbs.

Weight Class

170 Lbs.

5-2 (2-2 UFC)

Record

7-1 (2-0 UFC)

 Junie Allen Browning vs. Dave Kaplan

Dave Kaplan and Junie Browning are both jokes.  Frank Mir was all on the Kaplan bandwagon.  He looked terrible against Phillipe.  Was Phillipe that good or is Kaplan that bad?  We just don’t know with Junie.  Has he gotten his act together?  Is he going to be mentally prepared for this?  Physically, Junie is the better fighter.  Mentally, I don’t know.  Anyways, from what I hear Junie is sober.  Junie is training at Xtreme Couture and is living with Shwan Thompkins.  I think that has to help.  I predict that Junie comes out and impresses.  I predict that Junie wins by TKO in round 1. 

Junie Allen Browning

vs.

Dave Kaplan

 

Nickname

NR

MMA Blog Rank

NR

155 Lbs.

Weight Class

155 Lbs.

2-0 (0-0 UFC)

Record

 Quick Picks:

Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Shane Primm

Eliot Marshall vs. Jules Bruchez

Kyle Kingsbury vs. Tom Lawlor

George Roop vs. Shane Nelson

Rolando Delgado vs. John Polakowski

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

 

 

The TUF 8 Finale Match-Ups Are Set

 The match ups are all set for the TUF 8  Finale which airs live on Spike on December 13th.  The surprise is that all the cast members are fighting.                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Main Card:                                                                                                                                                     Ryan Bader vs. Vinny Magalhes                                                                                                                     Phillipe Nover vs. Efrain Escudero                                                                                                               Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia                                                                                                     Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns                                                                                                                 Junie Browning vs. Dave Kaplan

Undercard:                                                                                                                                              Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Shane Primm                                                                                                           Eliot Marshall vs. Jules Bruchez
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Tom Lawlor
Shane Nelson vs. George Roop
Rolando Delgado vs. John Polakowski

Breaking Down the UFC Middleweight Division

The Champion: Anderson Silva

The Top Contender: ?

The Next Tier:

·         Yushin Okami

·         Nate Marquardt

·         Michael Bisping

·         Dan Henderson

·         Demian Maia

·         Thales Leites

·         Patrick Cote

·         Chael Sonnen

 

On the Rise: 

·         Demian Maia

·         Michael Bisping

 

Other Notables:

·         Denis Kang

·         Rousimar Palhares

·         Martin Kampmann

·         Chris Leben

·         Ricardo Almeida

·         Nate Quarry

·         Jason MacDonald

·         Wilson Gouveia

·         Goran Reljic

·         Dan Miller

·         Dean Lister

·         Kendall Grove

·         Alan Belcher

·         Ed Herman

·         Jorge Rivera

·         Alessio Sakara

·         C.B. Dolloway

·         Mike Massenzio

·         Matt Horwich

·         Jake Rosholt

·         Amir Sadollah

 

Scheduled Fights:

·         Nate Loughran vs. Tim Credeur at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia at TUF 8 Finale on December 13

·         Yushin Okami vs. Dean Lister at UFC 92 on December 27

·         C.B. Dolloway vs. Mike Massenzio at UFC 92 on December 27

·         Denis Kang vs. Alan Belcher at UFC 93 on January 17

 

Match Ups I’d Like to See:

·         Yushin Okami vs. Anderson Silva

·         Thales Leites vs. Rousimar Palhares

·         Demian Maia vs. Michael Bisping

 

Other Thoughts:

·         The UFC Middleweight division is very, very underrated!  I believe it is because of Anderson Silva’s dominance.  The middleweight division does not have a clear number 1 contender, but from top to bottom I would put this division with any.  Albeit, the UFC’s competitors have some middleweight talents in the likes of guys like Gegard Mousasi, Jacare, Vitor Belfort, Matt Lindland, Jorge Santiago,and  Kazuo Misaki.  Not to mention the few solid middleweights from EliteXC such as Robbie Lawler, Joey Villasenor, Scott Smith, Frank Shamrock and Benji Radach.  The UFC is sure to pick some of those guys up

·         Rumor has it the UFC is in negotiations with top middleweight Yoshihio Akiyama.  I do not know if they call pull him away from DREAM and Sengoku, but that would be a huge add. 

·         The middleweight division is growing with adds like signing Denis Kang, the move of WEC’s division which will add Chael Sonnen and Jake Rosholt as well as guys like Aaron Simpson and Danillo Vilefort likely to come over.

·         Paulo Filho will not be in the UFC…yet.

·         TUF 9 will feature middleweight coaches with Michael Bisping being a lock.  The other names being thrown around are Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt and even Demian Maia