Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Will Break Your Back Like So....With My Knee

Before each UFC event I will give my picks for the main card fights.  Do I have any legitimate qualifications to pick these fights?  Not really, but most of the people that weigh in on MMA are former boxing writers that are trying to hold onto a job.  So, in my mind, I'm just as good, if not better than those guys.  I've been watching the UFC from the beginning.  Back in the days when they had swords, shields and ray guns.  Just trying to see if you're paying attention, but they at one time didn't have weight classes.  I also attended UFC 35 way back in 2002, at the Mohegan Sun Casino in CT.  Pretty spiffy qualifications, don't you think?  Enough about that...onto the picks!

Welterweight - Nate Diaz (12-5) vs. Marcus Davis (17-6)

I'm surprised Nate Diaz is still fighting at welterweight.  He's long, lean and his height/reach would be hard to deal with in the lightweight division.  In fact, it'll be hard for Marcus Davis to deal with as well.  Diaz will have a 6 inch reach advantage.  That's gigantic in any striking sport, especially if you rely on boxing, which both Diaz and Davis do.  Diaz has really great hand speed.  He won't exactly hurt you with his strikes, but still makes you pay attention to them.  Davis, on the other hand is known as the "Irish Hand Grenade."  If he touches you, he'll hurt you.  Diaz has something that Davis doesn't, world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  I think Diaz can counter Davis and his boxing, but Davis will have no answer for Diaz and his BJJ.

Result - Diaz via submission

Middleweight - Demian Maia (12-2) vs. Mario Miranda (10-1)

This is Maia's first fight in the octagon since the calamity in Abu Dhabi against Anderson Silva.  Where, if you follow the UFC or MMA, Silva dominated Demian for a couple of rounds and then ran around like a moron for the remainder of the fight.  Embarrassing himself and Maia in the process, but I digress.  I know Maia does not make the fights, but I will have to hand it to him for accepting this fight.  Miranda is no pushover.  They are both BJJ black belts.  Miranda has a height and sleight reach advantage, but neither of them are known as strikers.  This one is tough to call.  I'm sure Maia wants to get right back in the cage and prove that he belongs as one of the top middleweights in the UFC.  I've only seen Miranda fight the two times in the UFC and he's 1-1.  Maia is the more decorated BJJ practitioner, having competed for years at the highest levels.  I think with that experience, Maia will pull out a victory, but Miranda will make him work for it.

Result - Maia via decision

Lightweight - Kenny Florian (13-4) vs. Gray Maynard (9-0)

I like both of these fighters, so this will be the hardest fight I pick.  Kenny Florian is the definition of "thinking man's fighter."  He has fantastic ability to pick apart his opponents weaknesses, train specifically for that and incorporate it into his game plan.  Gray Maynard is a supreme wrestler.  He's 11th all-time in wins at Michigan State University, with 106.  He is stronger than Florian and a better natural grappler.  Kenny however has a huge advantage when they are standing with his Muay Thai background.  A 4 inch reach advantage also helps Florian.  So who wins this battle of wills?  The wrestler/boxer in Maynard or the muay thai/BJJ practitioner in Florian.  The answer comes down to who finishes fights?  That fighter is Florian.  13 of his 14 wins have been by KO or submission.  Whereas, Maynard has gone to decision in 7 out of his 9 wins.  The winner of this fight will get a title shot at whomever is the lightweight champion.  There are so many finishes that could happen, but my prediction is...

Result - Florian by TKO

Heavyweight - Randy Couture (18-10) vs. James Toney (0-0)

This is something fight fans have debated for years.  Who would win, a Boxer or MMA fighter?  Now we get a chance to see what will happen.  I know Randy Couture is 47 yrs old, but he's in better shape than I or just about anyone I've ever known.  That's the fact, Jack.  Couture has Olympic level Greco-Roman wrestling skills, he was a three-time alternate for the Olympic team.  James Toney is a multiple time world champion in boxing, but he's never fought off of his back.  Another fact, Jack...please pay attention.  If Randy was going to fight James in a boxing ring with boxing rules.  Toney would knock him out, but it's MMA, not boxing.  Toney has never had to defend a kick to his lead leg, a flying knee or takedown that will drop him on his head.  So, if Randy stands with James, he'll get KO'd, but I think Randy takes him down and grounds and pounds him until it's stopped by the referee.

Result - Couture via TKO strikes

Lightweight Title Fight - Frankie Edgar (12-1) vs. BJ Penn (15-6-1)

Frankie Edgar is the lightweight champion of the world, but he's also the one that has to prove it wasn't a fluke.  He needs respect and the only way he gets it is by doing the nigh impossible.  Beat BJ Penn a second time.  When BJ Penn is motivated, he's a very scary fighter.  It seems like whatever he thinks of doing in the cage, he can do.  He's been known as the "Prodigy" as long as I can remember.  He's the first non-Brazilian to ever win a World Jiu Jitsu Championship in the black belt division.  He just gets bored.  At least, it seems that way.  Maybe since he lost to Edgar, he'll have the hunger he needs.  You can't take anything away from Edgar.  He won the title.  He fought a smart fight and he'll need to do it again.  They are a closer match than most people think.  Edgar is a Division 1 Wrestler with BJJ skills, but Penn is one of the most gifted MMA fighters I've ever seen.  So, since I have to make a's going to be.

Result - Penn via TKO

Let me know what you think about my "expert" predictions.  I'll let you know how I did when I do the next UFC picks.  

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