TUF 8 Episodes 11 & 12 Recap, Finalists Set

The finale will be:

Lightweights: Phillipe Nover vs. Efrain Escudero

Light Heavyweights: Ryan Bader vs. Vinny Magalhes

Two good action packed episodes back to back.  Ryan Bader is very strong and showed good wrestling, but was boring.   He layed and prayed his way to victory.  Vinny is a beast on the ground and is a dangerous fight for Bader.  Vinny locked in a arm bar on Krzytof.  Phillipe is awesome.  He locked in a deep kimura on George Roop.  Nover just outclassed Roop.  Efrain didn’t look back either submitting Junie with a D’Arce choke.  Junie did not take Efrain seriously.  I have a feeling the antics were so he would have an excuse for a loss.  Both lightweight finalists have good submissions. 

 At first I was mad that Dana didn’t kick Junie out.  However, he was right.  It was much better to see Junie loose than to be kicked off.  Now he has no excuses.  Congrats to those guys and to the whole cast for a good season.

The rest of the fight card should be announced soon.

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Evaluating Affliction

One of the questions that I keep thinking about is whether or not Affliction in here to stay and whether or not they will compete with the UFC.  No one disagrees that UFC is the standard of MMA right now, but Affliction is making up ground quickly.  It has been a tell tale sign of a slight change that Affliction has signed so many guys lately including many of the stars from the now defunt IFL, which was bought by the parent company of the UFC, Zuffa.  Affliction has signed Champs Roy Nelson and Vladimir Matyushenko.  They have signed lightweight star Chris Horodecki and are rumored to have welterweight champ Jay Hieron.  Affliction is cleaning up the free agents and doing better in that regard than even the UFC as of late.  So, what is there to judge a promotion…

1. Fighter Talent – Fight promotions are fight promotions.  There are other factors that come into play, but primarily if a promotion does not have top level talent they will not stay relevant.

2. Show Quality –  While good fighters is essential, the promotion must put on a good show.  They must entertain fans.  This includes exciting fights, good commentators and a solid show production.  Promotions have to build shows people will come to or buy.

3.  Solid Managment –  Managment is important to a fight promotion, not just anyone can do it.  A promotion may suceed or fail based ont he business savvy of the fight promoter or president.  The PR, fighter pay, contracts, TV deals, etc. all come into play here.

With that said, let’s see how Affliction is doing…

1. Fighter Talent…

There is a lot of hype around Affliction’s fighter talent.  Here is who I can think of off hand that they have and will use on their cards

  • Fedor Emelianenko
  • Andrei Arlovski
  • Josh Barnett
  • Tim Sylvia
  • Ben Rothwell
  • Roy Nelson
  • Pedro Rizzo
  • Paul Buentello
  • Aleksander Emelianenko
  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
  • Tito Ortiz
  • Vladimir Matyushenko
  • Renato “Babalu” Sobral
  • Mike Whitehead
  • Edwin DeWees
  • Vernon White
  • Vitor Belfort
  • Matt Lindland
  • Jay Hieron
  • Mike Pyle
  • J.J. Ambrose
  • Chris Horodecki

I went to HDNet’s Rankings to see how many Affliction Fighters were ranked in the top 100 pound for pound or top in their divisons  here is the results.

(Pound for Pound Rank, Divison Rank)

  • Fedor Emelianenko (2, 1)
  • Andrei Arlovski (25, 4)
  • Josh Barnett (27, 5)
  • Tim Sylvia (55, 7)
  • Ben Rothwell (81, 12)
  • Roy Nelson (84, 13)
  • Pedro Rizzo (NR, 19)
  • Paul Buentello (NR, NR)
  • Aleksander Emelianenko (76, 10)
  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (85, 13)
  • Tito Ortiz (87, 15)
  • Vladimir Matyushenko (66, 12)
  • Renato “Babalu” Sobral (92, 16)
  • Mike Whitehead (NR, NR)
  • Edwin DeWees (NR, NR)
  • Vernon White (NR, NR)
  • Vitor Belfort (NR, NR) – Unfairly I’d admit
  • Matt Lindland (22, 5)
  • Jay Hieron (59, 11)
  • Mike Pyle (NR, NR)
  • J.J. Ambrose (NR, NR)
  • Chris Horodecki (NR, NR)
  • Put this into perspective, out of the top 100 the promotions faires like this in pound for pound top 100 fighters…

    • UFC -39
    • Affliction – 13
    • DREAM -12
    • WEC – 10
    • EliteXC – 10
    • Strikeforce – 5
    • World Victory Road – 3

    The point is that Affliction’s talent is overrated. 

    • They are right about the level of DREAM talent wise
    • They are no where near the talent level of the UFC
    • 10 of the Affliction guys that appeared on the rankings list have fought in the UFC before.  Some have been sucessful.  There are several former UFC champs (Sylvia, Barnett, Rizzo, Ortiz and Arlovski), however most of them did no better than fair in the UFC (see Matyushenko, Hieron, et. al)
    • Most of the top Affliction guys are in the second half of their careers and are past their prime.  They still have fight left in them, don’t get me wrong, but not for the long haul
    • What happens if two or three of those gusy get injured?  Affliction is hanging their hat on Fedor, Barnett, Arlovski and Ortiz.  They cannot keep putting everyone on every card, they will run out of match-ups.
    • To their credit, they can put on good fights.  The talent isn’t bad.  Their guys can fight exciting fighter, but they have exciting fights at tough man competitions. They need to sign younger talent and more talent.

    Show Quality…

    • I cannot judge them solely on their sole show.  Affliction needs to improve their show quality as far as commentating, interviews and production is concerned
    • Also, I thought with the exception of the last 3 fights the card wasn’t what it was billed to be
    • They are nowhere near the UFC level as far as enjoyability to watch

    Solid Managment:

    • The UFC with Dana White and the Fertitas is still the managment standard.  I have problems with the UFC and Dana White’s managing style.  I don’t like his constant expletives, I don’t like the way he trashes other promotions, I don’t like the stubborness he exhibits with signing guys like Lindland and Barnett, and even Fedor.  However, Dana is crafty.  Atencio is no Dana White.  Watch his video below where he can’t remember Josh Barnett’s name and he is the main event for the second show. 
    • Affliction does have the deep pocketed Donald Trump behind them which helps.  Trump is a business guiness, but he doesn’t neccessarily know MMA.  The money helps thought he same way it helped having Lorezon and Frank in the UFC early days when they lost tons of money.

    Here is the point folks…Affliction is a solid upstart company.  They may be around for a while, but before we jump ont he bandwagon and label them peers to the UFC and competitors to the UFC let them get through a few shows first.  Let’s see how much money they lose after 3 events.  Let’s see how many fights they can do after 3 card.  They could compete, but as for now it is the UFC and then everyone else.  Zuffa is sitting pretty in the MMA world.  They are the big leagues, everything else is just the minors.  Affliction, EliteXC and DREAM are in the same boat and in a year from now at least one of them will be non-existent.

    UFC News: Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote at UFC 90

    Okay, so we knew that Cote would get a title shot.  First, we suspected it would be after Yushin Okami got his shot, but then Okami broke his hand opening the door for Cote.  We then knew this fight would happen.  At first we thought it would be at UFC 88 in September.  Then some speculated it would be at UFC 89, on the free SPIKE card.  Well, it appears the fight will happen at UFC 90 on October 25th.  Here is what Cote had to say:

    I’m telling all my friends to bet on me because they’re going to make a lot of money…. This guy will need 10 punches to my face to knock me out, and I’ll just need one. I have a good chance. He won’t exchange with me, and I’m not scared of him.”

    I am sorry, but Cote bette rbe scared.  He is right, he has one punch knockout power, but it is nothing Silva hasn’t seen in guys like Leben or Franklin.  Cote didn’t knockout Almeida, he won’t knockout Silva. Here are Dana’s comments on the fight. 

    Anderson Silva once again showed why he’s the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world when he moved up to light heavyweight and destroyed James Irvin,” White said. “Now he drops back down to middleweight to defend his world title against Patrick Cote, a fighter on a five-fight win streak [including one win outside of the UFC] with a style that guarantees an incredible fight, wherever it goes.

    I think this is a good fight, but it is only good ebause it is a chance to see Anderson Silva.  If Cote wins that stinks for the UFC.  I hope UFC 90 gets another good fight.  They have the Sanchez vs. Alves and that is good for a third or fourth fight.  I hope they get one mroe solid fight.

    UFC News: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson Arrested

    It appears that yesterday Quinton Jackson was arrested yesterdat for hit and run and evading arrest.  Here is the news that is available…

    “Jackson, the driver of a lifted, gray pick-up truck left crashed cars, shredded tires and sparks in his wake this afternoon when he led police on a short pursuit from the southbound 55 freeway exit onto Newport Boulevard where he hit at least three cars, police said.

    The driver hit two cars at 19th Street and Newport Boulevard, then drove away at about 1:13 p.m., Lt. Paul Dondero said. A Costa Mesa police officer saw the driver southbound approaching 17th Street and tried to pull him over, police said. There, he hit at least one more car before continuing to run, now heading south toward the Balboa Peninsula, Dondero said. Some time after that, the truck blew a tire but continued to drive on its rims, Dondero said.

    Jackson eventually gave up, pulled over and was arrested, police said. The whole chase lasted about five minutes, Dondero said.”

    All I can say is that Rampage is an idiot.  Where did he think he was going?  Did he think he would get away?  This will not help the sport of mixed martial arts.  It also will not help Jackson and probably hindered his chances of an immediate re-match with Forrest Griffin.  Here is the press release from the police:

    A Motor Officer was monitoring traffic at the intersection of Newport Blvd and Broadway. He saw Jackson driving sound bound weaving in and out of traffic, with a flat front left tire speaking on his cell phone. The Motor Officer activated his lights and siren and initiated a traffic stop. Jackson ignored the Motor Officer and continued south bound on 17th weaving in and out of traffic to avoid being stopped.

    Jackson drove over the raised center portion of the roadway at Cabrillo Ave. He lost control and drove up onto the sidewalk causing pedestrians to flee for their lives. Jackson regained control and continued southbound in the northbound lanes of Newport Blvd. As he crossed through the intersection with 17th St, he collided with a vehicle legally in the intersection. Jackson continued south bound on Newport Blvd running several red lights. The rubber from his left tire began to disintegrate at the PCH overpass. Jackson continued southbound onto the Balboa Peninsula running several more red lights, causing pedestrians to flee in terror. Jackson’s vehicle finally came to a stop at 18th St and Newport Blvd in the city of Newport Beach. Jackson was taken into custody by Costa Mesa Officers without incident.

    Jackson was transported to the Costa Mesa City Jail and booked for; Felony Evading, Reckless Driving and Hit and Run. He was transported to the Orange County Jail and is being held in lieu of a $25,000.00 bail.

    Prior to Motor Officer Barnes actions, Jackson had been involved in two separate collisions on the south bound 55 FWY. The CHP is taking those reports.

    It is also being reported that Dana White quickly flew out to California and paid Jackson’s $25,000 bail.  Glad to hear there was no drugs or alcohol involved, but I have to wonder what happened and caused this.  I am going to try to be objective in my reasoning of this situation, but I have to say I am disappointed in Jackson’s poor decision making here.   Time will tell the effect of his actions.

    TUF News: TUF 8 Finds Next Anderson Silva

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo! Sports:

    Dana White said he’s found “the next Anderson Silva,” a lightweight who is competing in Season 8 of TUF at 155 pounds, though he declined to release the fighter’s name because it might spoil the season. “I was going off when I saw this guy,” White said. “He’s 24 and he’s destroying people. It’s sick how bad ass he is. I’m getting goose bumps talking to you about him.”

    Most people think that the “next Anderson Silva” is a fighter named Joe Duarte.  His blog confirms that he is indeed a cast member of TUF 8.  He is a big lightweight, who walks around at more than 180 lbs.  I saw one video of him and he did look good, but it is hard to tell in some of the smaller events how someone will fair in the big leagues.  The billing as the “next Anderson Silva” may hurt Duarte or whoever it is that Dana was referring to as people could expect too much from him.  Dana White never make a big deal about something only to have the reality disappoint people (sarcasm).  Really though if Dana White talks about a dude like that he must be good.  That is a huge compliment and Dana can recognize talent.  As far as I know he has never said something like that about a TUF cast member.  He may have stated the clear favorite at times, but that is hype.  Also, I would assume that this “next Anderson Silva” may very well be the one in the finals.  Check out my TUF News section for more recent TUF 8 news as it comes in and updated lists of TUF 8 cast members as they are made known. 

    Other TUF News:

    • It looks like Lee Evans, Rashad Evans’ brother will be a cast member
    • Also, there are rumors swirling that Matt Hughes’ brother, Mark is on the cast, but I would be shocked if he is for two reasons.  He doesn’t need TUF.  It has been rumored that he was returning to the UFC sometime, but why on TUF?  Also, he doesn’t fit either weight class and dropping to 155 would maybe be too much. 

     

    Jackson vs. Griffin Press Conference

    Some clips from Rampage Jackson and Forrest Griffin from the UFC 86 press conference. There are some good moments in this, including Jackson saying he thought Stephan Bonnar should have gotten the decision victory over Forrest Griffin at the Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale. Good watch…

    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    more about “Jackson vs. Griffin Press Conference“, posted with vodpod

     

    The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale Predictions

    C.B. Dolloway vs. Amir Sadollah

    This is a re-match for the TUF 7 crown.  Amir beat C.B. in the third round of a semi-final fight via armbar.  However, it must be remembered that C.B. beat Amir for two and a half rounds.  I think Amir has been shockingly good.  I think he has a place in the UFC, and will be very good.  He however has far less experience than C.B.  C.B.’s wrestling is awesome, and certainly he has been preparing for Amir well and defending armbars.  I think when it comes down to it, C.B. may keep the fight standing or do a little bit better ground and pound.  C.B.’s problem was cardio.  If he has bettered that he will be a force in the UFC.  From day one most people considered C.B. the best in the house and in the end I think a great final match is set up.  Some don’t like C.B. because of his cockiness, but I like him.  Some others feel that he shouldn’t be given this re-match and I disagree.  He wasn’t just handed this.  He had to beat Tim Credeur to get there.  Also, Amir didn’t tear him up, he won a come from behind win as he did in all his fights.  Don’t forget Gerald was beating Amir before he won.  Matt Brown gave him fits as did C.B.  Now with that said a win is a win, and Amir is amazing.  No one thought Amir would get this far.  He showed endurance and a great Nogueira like ability to come from behind.  Overall, I think C.B. is the best out of this season and I think he deserves this shot and will make the most of it.  I pick C.B. by ref stoppage in round 2. 

    Kendall Grove vs. Evan Tanner

    This has been billed as a do or die fight.  The loser of this fight is probably out of the UFC unless they put on a good show.  Kendall grove has looked horrible lately.  Evan Tanner didn’t look so hot in his bouth with Yushin Okami, but then again Okami is a great fighter.  Tanner has been out of fighting for a while now and I don’t know if he can get back with it.  If Tanner fights like the Tanner of old he will win and win big.  However, if not he is done with the UFC and his fighting career.  He has way more to lose in this fight than Kendall Grove.  I will pick Evan Tanner by TKO or ref stoppage in round 2. 

    Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti

    This match is one that I think will be better than some expect.  Fiorvanti is maybe the most underrated welterweight in the UFC and he could easily pull a win out.  Luigi is an awesome fighter and is well rounded.  He may have better stand up than Diego.  Diego Sanchez though seems to be refocused and ready to go.  I was half tempted to pick the upset here, but I am picking Diego to get back on track and win by submission in round 1.

    Dustin Hazelett vs. Josh Burkman

    Hazelett is a good fighter, but I think Burkman will prove too strong, aggresive and big for him in this fight.  Burkman didn’t look great against Swick his last outing, but I believe he is betetr than he showed.  Hazelett could hope for some type of submission, but if Burkman strikes with Dustin.  It will not be good for Hazelett.  If I was Hazelett I would try to pull off some type of head kick to get a KO.  I think that in the end Burkamn wins this one by decision.

    Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens

    Fisher has to be the favorite in this fight, but Stephens is tough.  In this fight I just have to go with experience.  I think it can be a great fight though, and this is on my upset watch.  I will pick Fisher by decision.  If we see the Fisher of old it will be a win for him.  Stephens may have learned from Edgar about wrestling and ground and pound though against Fisher. 

    Jeremy Horn vs. Dean Lister

    Both these guys are good on the ground, but Dean Lister is amazing on the ground.  Jeremy Horn will want to keep this fight standing and if he can it is bad news for Lister.  I think Horn needs a win here to hang around the UFC.  I think he will do it.  I pick Jeremy Horn by TKO in round 3. 

    Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries

    This fight may be a good stand up match.  Drew McFedries is talented, but has struggled lately.  Marvin Eastman is big at middleweight.  I think the beastman Eastman will win by TKO in round 1.  Don’t count Drew out though. 

    Rob Kimmons vs. Rob Yundt

    I don’t know much about these guys, except seeing Yundt lose to Almeida.  Kimmons has lost 3 times and they were all to UFC or former UFC fighters.  Perhaps that means he cannot hang with UFC level guys.  I don’t know if Yundt will prove to be UFC worthy.  However, I pick Yundt to win by decision.

    Quick Picks:

    Matt Brown vs. Matt Arroyo

    Matthew Riddle vs. Dante Rivera

    Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough

    Upset Watch:

     Jeremy Stephens over Spencer Fisher.  Dean Lister over Jeremy Horn.  Kendall Grove over Evan Tanner.