Saturday, April 10, 2010

UFC 112, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

After watching UFC 112 a lot of good has been overshadowed by the bizarre fight the involved Anderson Silva and Damian Maia. Most people were expecting a performance from Anderson Silva whose last 2 fights have left questions unanswered. Silva failed to answer those same questions again against Damian Maia.

In the first 2 rounds we saw the brilliance of Silva and the sheer terror he instills in his opponents. He had Maia where he wanted him, Maia had nothing to offer in the stand up and was unable to take Silva down. In my humble opinion it was very disrespectful of Silva to act the way he did by almost begging Maia to engage and touching the floor with both hands, even though it still showed his amazing ability it's not what fight fans and fans of Silva want to see.

When he seemed to be extremely upset by Maia's unwillingness to engage he let it be known in a very exaggerated way almost getting angry with Maia. But in the later rounds he did exactly the same thing. I don't blame Maia for not going toe to toe with Silva, neither would I, you fight to your strengths. Silva acted like a spoiled little child because someone wouldn't do what he wanted to do.

He said later that Maia had 'disrespected' him so he wanted to punish him. From what I could gather according to Silva the disrespect was aimed at his jiu jitsu, as Silva mentioned he was a black belt, but he failed to give a clear explanation of what or where the disrespect came from. If he was so upset by this why didn't he take the fight to the ground and show Maia he could grapple just as good as he could.

In conclusion it seems that Silva has either become extremely bored or extremely arrogant in his fighting. I say bored because he seemed to have had lost all interest half way through the fight, I say arrogant because he expects everyone to fight him the way he wants them to fight playing to his strong points as a fighter.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Hard Way?

Next weekend we will see the up and coming Dan Hardy square off against George St Pierre in the UFC octagon. When I first heard about this match up I really didn't think that Dan Hardy should have gotten a title shot so early especially when there are the likes of John Fitch and Thiago Silva in the division. These guys are contenders and should be in the way of anyone looking to take a shot at the title. Don't get me wrong, Hardy has done very well and he is a big guy for the division and would give anyone problems. He has also done very well in promoting himself and getting himself in a postion where he has been given the title shot. All that aside the question that still burns is 'Is he ready?'.
I'm sure if you ask him he will tell you that he is and his training team will tell you that he is. He certainly isn't overawed by the whole situation that's for sure. So mentally it looks like he is, but what about experience? Has he got enough cunning to see of the experienced GSP?
Like I said before I didn't think he had a few weeks back, but now I have seen some interviews and the UFC Primetime show leading up to the fight he certainly looks ready. To just say he has a puncher's chance would be a underestimation of his talent. He fought the ex-pro boxer in Marcus Davis and did well, looked comfortable in the stand with him. This added to his size makes him more than dangerous. It was also interesting t hear George say the he would show Hardy what martial arts were. Hardy responded by saying he had been doing 'martial arts' whole life with Tae Kwon Do and even spent some time in china training with monks so yes he is a 'martial artist'.
Now we've gotten all that out of the way let's focus on the fight and who will win.
George is an absolutely fantastic fighter and in his last few fights he has been a different guy than the one who lost to Matt Serra. He seems a lot more focused and no longer do we see the smiling nice guy coming up ti fight night. He is all business and this is what he was missing before. As for Hardy's size it won't be the first time he has fought someone bigger than him and won, he man handled Thiago Silva and a few others. The thing about George St Pierre is he always gets to control the fight how he wants it to go. To be completely honest I don't see Hardy being able to stuff George St Pierre's take downs. If Hardy fails to keep the fight standing I'm afraid this will be GSP's fight all night long.
On the other hand if Hardy can keep the fight standing or get on top of George he might be able to use his size to control him. But these things are not easily done. I think the fight will be closer than a lot of people think it will be. that being said I think GSP has enough to see Hardy off he he can utilize his take downs and wrestling to control the fight.

Prediction: I have to go with George St Pierre on this one by a unanimous decision.

Friday, January 22, 2010

R and R

So it looks like the Rampage Jackson V Rashad Evans fight is back on and set for UFC 114 on May 29th. After watching TUF 10 it's as plain as the nose on Dustin Hoffman's face that these guys have a real hatred for one another. Yes, there are fights that are billed as 'grudge matches' and after the fight the fighters say it was all part of the build up and so on and so on. But this fight looks to be genuinely based on pure dislike of one another. There were times on the show when you could actually feel the tension and with your eyes wide with excitement and anticipation you actually thought these two guys were gonna throw down right there and then. They did manage some kind of self control and kept the abuse of one another to a verbal kind, albeit quite personal at times.These guys can't wait to get their hands on each other, and this time it is for reals.

Now that we have established this dislike, maybe 'hatred' is too strong a word (maybe not), let's move on to which fighter looks more likely to win. When I first saw Rashad he just looked like another Matt Hughes. I though he was going to dry hump everyone to death. Then, all of a sudden he could punch. Now he's looking like a real prospect. After a demolition of Chuck Liddell he beats the then light heavy weight champion Forrest Griffin, who had just taken the belt off Rampage. At this stage I'm thinking 'this boy's unstoppable'. Then along comes Machida, who looks like he's straight from 'Street Fighter 2', and KOs the unstoppable Rashad. OK a minor set back, he'll be back. Fast forward to his last fight against Thiago Silva, he was rocked badly in the fight and most would say was very lucky to stagger away with the win. Big question marks hang over Rashad's chin and I'm sure he must be thinking about it himself. Not a good thing to have on your mind coming into a fight with a guy like Rampage who took 27 , yes that's 27, knees to the head from then pride champion Wanderlei Silva before he fell.

Now let's take a look at his opponent Rampage Jackson. Personality wise very different from Rashad. Jackson seems to relish the limelight. He wears a big bike chain around his neck and howls like a wolf after he wins which is fitting really because this guy is an animal in the ring. He also beat Chuck Liddell in Pride and in the UFC. He's had his losses in the sport but not many fighters can claim a 100% record. After beating Liddell and taking the belt from Dan Henderson he agreed to TUF 7 with Forrest Griffin as his apposing coach. At the end of the series as always the two warriors battled in the octagon with Griffin deservedly winning a decision many thought Rampage would win. A big set back for Jackson who also had is problems outside of the octagon when he was involved in a hit and run which he pleaded guilty to. But Jackson soon got his career back on track with wins over Wanderlei Silva, the only fighter to have held two wins over Rampage, and Keith Jardine. The Massive win against Wanderlei Silva must have felt like nothing before for Jackson, especially in the manner in which knocked him clean out with a beautiful left hook that any pro boxer would have been proud of. He then refused a fight against current champion Lyoto Machida in favour of a match up against Rashad Evans which after a lot of huff and puff has brought us here.

So who's the favourite in this fight? If you asked me this question previous to the Thiago Silva fight I would have found it a lot tougher to make a decision. But now I honestly think Rampage is the favourite. Rampage has some great wrestling abilities which we haven't seen much of lately so that will cancel out any advantage Rashad has there as I feel we will see Rampage get back to basics with his wrestling. Also Rampage has a chin like Jay Leno. He ain't getting knocked out easily that's for sure. Rashad is going to have to utilize every inch of the octagon to keep moving and try to outbox Rampage on his toes. If he mixes it up with some good solid leg kicks and tries to slow Rampage down he has a chance. He will have to be at the top of his game and keep his chin well tucked in.

So in conclusion to this pointless drivel 'I pity the fool', the 'fool' being Rashad. I think Rampage wins this one by TKO. I'm not so arrogant as to guess what round. Oh and by the way, I wasn't really calling Rashad a fool.

Predtiction: Rampage by TKO AWOOOOOOOOOOO!