Feb 28, 2012

UFC 144 Post Fight Thoughts and Analysis

Image via mmamania.com
Hey there folks, Kid Presentable is back after a little bit of a hiatus from the sport of mma. Anyone, who has read a single thing on this site knows the staff are Diaz brothers fan boys, and recent events created the need to take a little bit of a break. But now we're back, and what a card it was to return to. Many questions and concerns preceded this card. How would the Japanese crowd react to a sport waning in popularity in their own country, hosted by a company with little to no name value and recognition in the country? The main event featured two fighters with no history in Japan, and have not proved to be great sells even in the US, but for anyone who is a fight fan, the card was action packed and one of the most top to bottom entertaining cards witnessed in some time.
  • WEC never die! Bendo Henderson is the new lightweight champion, and to be honest it wasn't that close. Though some, including Dana White and Joe Silva, seem to think Frankie defended, at best I scored the fight 49-46 or at worst 48-47. People seem to forget that damage and significant strikes outweigh volume strikes, and that catching a kick means the kick landed.
  • Watch the start of the 5th round, and you will see a man with the confidence, heart, and drive to be a true champion. Bendo, with his limitless gas tank, has an unbreakable will and managed to push the pace against a man known for his own heart and ability to dictate the pace and action of the fight in Edgar.
  • Much respect once more for Frankie though. The man always seems to eat the heaviest shot in the fight but never stops, and when you think he's out does he make his best attack. For a guy who relies on speed and volume a la Dominic Cruz though, he gets hit way too much and will need to working on his striking defense. There is no need for him to drop weight unless he himself wants the Aldo super fight. But again, if you've been the champion of a weight class, and a defending one at that, you don't need to change weight classes.
  • Rampage... I think it's over man. Yeah I could tell you were hurt, yeah you gave us that get up off your ass and scream slam, but the drive to be a complete fighter doesn't seem to be there. I don't think this is it though, and I will be as excited as ever for your next fight. Rampage forever.
  • Darth Bader continues to be undefeated when coming out to March of the Empire. I think the Tito fight made a lot of people forget this guy was once supposed to be a future staple at the top of the division. It wasn't the best Rampage, but he did what he had to do.
  • Mark Hunt. Man of few words. Simply awesome.
  • Damn Sexyama, that makes four, some awesome throws, and even sexier trips, but you have to actually fight too.
  • Jake Shields, I am sure you scored some awesome Asian ladies (story to come later this week...) but you have yet to look impressive in a UFC fight. For a man whose best trait is his ground game, Shields struggles mightily to get the fight there. Shields won on volume strikes, but needs to work on his takedowns if he is to stay in the upper echelon of the division.
  • Big Timmy B, nice uppercuts. You made Joe Rogan lose his sh*t for moment, but respect for an amazing comeback.
  • Hioki did was Hioki does. Not the most aesthetically please of fight styles, but dominant none the less. Hioki has a world class grappling game giving him at least one believable avenue to victory should he get Aldo next. Hioki reportedly thinks he needs at least one more fight before he is ready though.
  • Showtime is back in the house. After debuting in defeat, and then wrestling his way to a decision, Pettis found his old highlight reel self by head kicking Lauzon into oblivion. With Bendo's victory at the top, it seems to be shaping up for a rematch of the final fight in WEC history. Like I said, WEC never die!
  • A few quick hits about the undercard... Gomi's win was a nice throwback to see, and him taking the mic Pride style was even better, but he did not look good that first round, and will get lit up against better strikers if he fights like that...Kid Yamamoto, it isn't looking good. This match was tailored made for the fight legend, but it just wasn't to be... Mizugaki drew the short stick of a bad decision, nice to see Dana payout his win bonus anyways though...Issei Tamura? Nice to meet you, with that devastating right, maybe you can be the new Kid Yamamoto. Long live Krazy Bee.

Feb 24, 2012

UFC 144 Staff Predictions

Image via nama-niku.blogspot.com

The UFC is returning to Japan for the first time since 1997. In honor of this (and Lavender and Kid being massive dorks who watch too much Anime) we’ve given the fighters Japan themed nicknames.

"Ultraman" Frankie Edgar (c) vs. Ben Henderson aka "Luffy, King of the Pirates"

Kid Presentable: The earth's forces try their best to survive when under attack, but in dire times must summon Ultraman. Frankie is the reigning and ever resilient champion of the LW division, turning on Ultraman mode twice in close calls against nemesis Gray Maynard. Bendo is the rubber man himself. He challenges Edgar with a complete game, and most notably an insane amount of flexibility and technical savvy to escape any danger. Having followed Bendo for some time now, it's is awesome to see him on the cusp of greatness, and if you watched the countdown show and don't like this dude? Well then you are the one with the problem. Frankie has proven time and again to not be counted out though, but two things in this MMA world are certain, I will always pick Anderson Silva to win, and I will always pick Frankie Edgar to be upset. Bendo by decision.
Image via squidoo.com

Doctor Law: Click on Ben Henderson’s name above and it’ll take you to his Wikipedia page. On the right side of the page it has “Bendo” listed as one of his “Other names.” That is there because of Kid Presentable and myself. That little factoid isn’t really related to anything, but I wanted to show my clear bias here. I’m a big fan of Bendo. He fights with tenacity and is very well rounded. Frankie Edgar, on the other hand, is incredibly tough and is great at scoring points with his standup. I think (actually I just hope) Bendo is the one to take the belt from Edgar. Henderson will take Edgar down and beat him up for 25 minutes. Bendo by decision.

DJ Mark with a "K": Frankie has defended his belt three times, and yet he still doesn't feel like a champion for some reason. All the other champions in the UFC have that thing about them that says "I'm the best in the world" (except for Dominick Cruz who suffers the same), but Frankie just seems to squeak by winning decisions via very impressive footwork (except being sending Maynard to another dimension in his last fight). I think this win will change that. While I love Benderson's style, in and out of the ring, I'm giving Frankie the edge here. Frankie's going to be coming in fast and confident, and he'll get hit, but he'll fight back. If he's smart he'll throw in some takedowns to get Benderson off his trail and tag Benderson when he's in wrestling mode. If Benderson is smart he’ll capitalize on Frankie being a punching bag the first round and finish what Maynard started. I don’t see him doing that. Frankie via decision.

Lavender Gooms: I find Frankie to be an oddity. He’s a man who pretty much fights at his natural weight. The man looks like he cuts no weight. It seems like he eats some yakiniku, then goes to the weigh-ins. He waltzes into the octagon against guys who normally weigh a lot more than him and has been able to pull out the victories. Both fighters have excellent gas tanks, but Edgar is on another level with the pace he sets in his fights. I see this fight being a 25 minute battle with a crazy tempo. Edgar will use his speed and boxing to dart in and out, while Henderson will use his black belt in Taekwondo, along with his range to neutralize some of Edgar’s boxing. Edgar is hard to take down and Grey Maynard couldn’t knock him out, and I don’t think Henderson has that type of power. Edgar by Unanimous Decision.

Quinton "Fist of the Northstar" Jackson vs. Ryan "Godzilla" Bader

Kid Presentable: The prodigal son returns home. If you follow Ariel Helwani or any number of reporters who have spoken to Rampage, you can see how happy he is about fighting in Japan once more. For a guy whose heart for the sport is repeatedly questioned, what better place to rekindle the flame in the land of the fighting spirit. Ryan "Darth, even though I probably secretly hate Star Wars" Bader will come in all his muscular glory to take the glory away, but there's nothing really in his game that Rampage hasn't seen and defeated better of before. Rampage by KO for Japan round 1.

Doctor Law: Quinton Jackson competes in Japan for the first time in six years. Rampage basically forced himself onto the card by calling out the UFC on Twitter when it seemed like he wouldn’t be part of the event. Ryan Bader got the call to fight Rampage after he made quick work of Jason Brilz at UFC 139. I think Bader’s only path to victory in this fight is to lay ‘n’ pray and that is very hard to do to Rampage. Rampage is going to come out on a mission and he’s going to try to put on a show for the Japanese fans. Bader is going to suffer the consequences. Rampage by 2nd round KO (don’t rule out bodyslam).

DJ Mark with a "K": It's easy to think that Quinton's heart just isn't in MMA anymore. He's had an up and down career since losing his belt to Forrest all those years ago, and with his recent lost being what maybe was his last chance at gold, it's easy to think he's only in this till someone makes that Luke Cage movie. However, he seems game for this one. Quinton has had a long love affair with Japan and he has the passion to put on an entertaining fight in his eyes again, which I hadn't seen since the third fight with Wanderlei. Bader's got a tougher fight then he thinks on his hands and he's not ready. Quinton via 2nd round TKO.

Lavender Gooms: This is Jackson-senshu’s first fight back in Japan since Pride. This is where Rampage made name for himself and is in many ways a homecoming for him. The Japanese people want to see Rampage beat someone down mercilessly and will get their wish with Ryan Bader. Bader and Rampage both wrestle and have KO power…..Rampage just does everything BETTER than Bader. No shot Bader wins, Rampage howls to the moon and the Japanese people yell “sugoi!”. Jackson by TKO 1st round.

Image via lounge.moviecodec.com
Jake "Cowboy Bebop" Shields v. "Super Saiyan lvl 4" Yoshihiro Akiyama

Kid Presentable: Mr. Shields looks to rebound from his losing streak against Sexyama.I had been tempted all week to take Akiyama in this one. The thinking was that maybe in his home country he would be able to summon enough energy and spirit bomb Shields. Or go Super Saiyan with his blond hair and final flash his way to a KO. But this style of fight seems right up Shields alley, and if Leben could get the sub, Jake sure as hell should be able to as well. Shields 3rd round submission.

Doctor Law: Can Jake Shields handle all of the sexiness? Yeah…probably. Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama is so beloved in Asia that he managed to be on the cover of the Korean version of Maxim. Let’s put it this way, if the US version of Maxim secured an interview with Barack Obama, he still would lose out on the cover to some girl from MTV in a bikini. Jake Shields, on the other hand, is incredibly boring…both in fighting style and personality. That doesn’t matter…Asian girls love Jake Shields. Seriously, absolutely love him. Shields won’t want to ruin his post-fight sex party by losing to Akiyama. Jake Shields by decision.

DJ Mark with a "K": Both these guys came into the UFC looking to make some noise, and both have failed for the most part so far. After they both got close decisions in their UFC debuts both went on losing streaks. Shields losses though were to champions and top contenders while Akiyama lost to some mid-level fighters. I’m giving the edge to Shields here; I think some x factors like a first time cut to 170 may affect Akiyama’s performance. Shields by decision.

Lavender Gooms: Sexyama will be debuting at welterweight in this fight. How will his body hold up? Will he be cut if he loses again? Can Shields get him down AND keep him down? Will he come out to boring opera music again? All riveting questions which will be answered on Sunday I’m sure. I think Shields won’t be able to keep the fight on the ground and Akiyama uses his “guts” to prevail and gets off the skid. Akiyama by decision.

Feb 14, 2012

UFC on Fuel TV 1 Predictions

Image via UFC newsletter

Diego Sanchez v. Jake Ellenberger

Doctor Law: This should be a fun fight. Why? Because it’s Diego Sanchez v. anybody. The man doesn’t have boring fights, even when he gets his ass kicked (see: Diego v. BJ Penn at UFC 107. Diego hasn’t fought in about 11 months. He was scheduled to take on Matt Hughes in September, but he broke his hand. Before that, Diego “defeated” Martin Kampmann last March by beating up Martin’s hands with his face. That could be a dangerous strategy against Ellenberger, who hits very hard. If Jake can get passed Diego, he deserves a shot at Condit’s interim welterweight title. Sidenote, Diaz got f*cked by the judges at UFC 143. Completely, totally and incredibly f*cked. Ellenberger by decision.

Kid Presentable: Sanchez I used to like you. You seemed kinda crazy, but in an entertaining way. But then you became a little heavy, and were gifted a crap decision against Kampmann that lost me some money. But I guess I can't be too mad at you. Ellenberger, you won me money. So I love you for that. Jake is also setting himself up nicely in the division with a win here. Jake with a victory should absolutely get a crack at Condit's interim belt. They fought to a very arguable split decision in their first contest, and Ellenberger has been on a roll lately. It is a joke if Carlos sits out until GSP's return. What is the point of an interim title that never gets defended until the champion returns? Jake by decision.

DJ Mark with a “K”: This should be an entertaining fight, this I know. Diego comes to fight 100% of the time and he’s given some of the best fights in UFC history. Because of this it’s really confusing to me why I’m never excited for his fights. The up-side to this mentality is that I come in with low expectations and leave being blown away. Jake on the other hand has been on a run and a win here puts him in line with a select few for a title shot. This is a tough fight but I’m going to take Jake here, he’s got the momentum and he’ll need that and the kitchen sink to beat Diego but I think he’s got this one. Jake by Decision.

Image via mmamania.com
Lavender Gooms: Diego doesn’t get the respect he deserves. Sure there are only five people in this world who think he won that fight against Kampmann (him, three judges, and his mother….maybe). But something has to be said for taking a beating that made his face look like rare puppy chow and still plowing forward. While I give Sanchez dap and props for taking a large amount of punches to his grill, that better not be his game plan this time around. Ellenberger packs some heavy hands which will test Sanchez’s ability to take a punch again. Sanchez’s best shot of winning will be to avoid taking a lot of shots, and get the fight to ground. Ellenberger likely won’t be able to knock Sanchez out. If Ellenberger can’t KO “The Dream” (what a dumb nickname), Sanchez comes out of this scrap victorious. Sanchez by decision.

Picking Sanchez: Gooms
Picking Ellenberger: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark

Stefan Struve v. Dave Herman

Doctor Law: Ah yes, two tall white men who like knocking people out. Well, 1 tall white guy and 1 giant white guy. Struve is coming off of submitting Pat Barry which was very unsurprising. Struve is very young, but I’m still waiting for him to “get it” in terms of his reach. The fact that people can get through his reach is really unacceptable at this point in the game. Herman beat John-Olav Einemo last June in a sloppy brawl. He was supposed to fight in October, but failed a preliminary drug test for weed. Herman also famously said jiu jitsu doesn’t work and no one gets caught unless they don’t have any idea what they’re doing. Him getting submitted would look pretty funny, right? Struve by 2nd round submission.

Kid Presentable: Peewee is a taller and lankier dude at heavyweight, but he sure won't look it standing next to the ivory tower. I am not entirely sure what to make of Herman's skill set as half the time he looked like he was just dicking around in his last fight against Einemo. But his standup proved to be quite adequate and solid as he got the better of the exchanges. With each fight Struve takes, I keep hoping he will control the range better but then he just gets cracked. No one collapses quite as epically as Struve, nor have many been on the receiving ends of such devastating knockouts so soon in their career. Herman is a very solid heavyweight, but I still like to believe Struve is the better prospect between the two and think he can get this win. Oh, and we're both named Stefan, so that's the real reason for the pick. Struve by TKO 2nd round.

DJ Mark with a “K”: Now this is a fight. Dave made a nice big splash with his UFC debut win over Einemo and I think he’ll get his biggest win here over Stefan Struve. I think Dave will be able to out muscle Struve on the cage and I think he even carries the heavy hands here too. Stefan’s best bet is to slap on a submission that, while very possible, I just don’t see happening. Herman by Decision.

Lavender Gooms: This should be a hell of a fight. Herman will try his hardest to send Struve’s head from Omaha to Lincoln. It won’t be a surprise when Struve tries to get the fight to the ground and submit him. I won’t be surprised when he gets that done. Struve by submission in the 1st round.

Picking Struve: Dr. Law, Kid P, Gooms
Picking Herman: DJ Mark

Feb 12, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Koscheck v. Hendricks booked for UFC on Fox 3

Dana White just announced on Twitter that the next UFC on Fox card will feature a welterweight battle between Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks. Koscheck is coming off of a split decision victory over Mike Pierce where he did not look very impressive. Hendricks is coming off of the biggest win of his career: a 12 second knockout of Koscheck's friend and former teammate, Jon Fitch, in December. If Carlos Condit ends up defending his interim welterweight title before taking on GSP, it looks like he would take on the winner of this fight.

UFC on Fox 3 takes place on May 5th from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The card is headlined by a lightweight fight between Nate Diaz and Jim Miller.

Feb 3, 2012

Staff Predictions for UFC 143

Image via UFC newsletter

Interim UFC Welterweight Championship:
Nick Diaz v. Carlos Condit

Doctor Law: The path to this fight has been a strange one. At UFC 137, it was supposed to be Diaz v. GSP for the title while Condit went up against BJ Penn. After Diaz no-showed a few press conferences, his title shot was given to Condit. Diaz was allowed to stay on the card and fight Penn. GSP ended up getting hurt a week before the fight, delaying the fight with Condit. After Diaz beat Penn ,he called out GSP. An angry GSP demanded a bout with Diaz. GSP ended up tearing his ACL, creating the current fight. This is going to be an absolute war. Both of these fighters are perfect examples of guys who “bring it” in their fights. Carlos Condit is the former WEC welterweight champion. He has 27 career victories with 26 finishes. He has great kickboxing and has a solid submission game. Nick Diaz is the former Strikeforce champion. Nick depends on his boxing, great BJJ and insane pace. He’s also my favorite fighter not named Rampage, so there is no way I’m picking against him. The fight will be a battle, but I see Nick’s pace being too much for Condit. Diaz will also call him “b*tch” at least 5 times per round. Diaz by 3rd round TKO.

Kid Presentable: If you are a fan of FIGHTING, then this is one of the best dream matchups you can come up with. Both of these guys come to play, and both of them aim to end the fight. Though I like the guy, GSP's injury has injected life into a relatively stagnant division, now giving us a really great fight between guys who both excel on the feet and the ground. If you know one thing about me though, it's that I am always going to ride or die with the Diaz brothers. Nick has an adamantium chin, having taken the best shot of Paul Daley, who I feel probably has the most KO power in the weight class, and kept on pressing. Don't get me wrong, Condit is absolutely dangerous anywhere this fight goes, but Nick's furious punching style has a way of taking everyone out of their game plan. It was not very long ago at all a dangerous Muay Thai striker got fed fists by a Diaz, where younger brother Nate delivered a far more one-sided beating then I would have imagined. Carlos will not quit under pressure though, but it will be a certainly long night of eating fists. Diaz by epic 5 round decision.

DJ Mark with a “K”: Well this is an awesome fight right here. Both of these guys are extremely exciting and are always trying to finish the fight or damage their opponent. With that being said I like Diaz’s chances in this one. What makes Diaz such a threat is that he doesn’t let his opponents have time to set-up their next move. It’s a consistent pressure that most fighters just can’t overcome. On the other hand Carlos does have a serious shot of causing a minor upset here. Carlos is not scared to throw down in the pocket (prime example against Dan Hardy) and Nick isn’t known for leaving a fight without some damage, so there’s a decent chance that Carlos can get it done on the feet. I’m still going to play it by the numbers here, Diaz TKO 4th Round

Image via cagepotato.com
Lavender Gooms: The Stockton Slap vs. The Natural Born Killer. Both Diaz and Condit are expert strikers, with Condit having more tools in his arsenal, while Diaz is a very good boxer and uses his range well. A month ago I thought for sure Diaz would win this fight no problem. As fight night gets closer, the more I think about this fight, the more I think it’s going to be close. Although both aren’t slouches on the ground, these guys will likely stand and bang. While you can’t knock out a Diaz, we’ve seen Diaz get dazed against Paul Daley, and Condit will try and test that chin as well. Diaz also isn’t the taller fighter so he won’t have the reach advantage he normally has. Even so….as driver of the NY chapter of the Diaz brothers bandwagon, there’s no damn way I’m betting against Nick. Diaz by Stockton Smackdown in 4th round.

Picking Diaz: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Condit:

Roy Nelson v. Fabricio Werdum

image via mmagif.blogspot.com
Doctor Law: Given the awesomeness of the main event, the other fights on this card are being overlooked. People haven’t been talking much about this fight, but it should be a solid battle. Werdum entered MMA as a world champion in BJJ, but has developed a good striking game. In his June fight with Alistair Overeem, Werdum was actually getting the better of the standing. This is his first fight in the UFC since getting KO’d in less than 90 seconds by Junior Dos Santos. Roy Nelson is coming off of a victory over Mirko Crocop and appeared to have lost a significant amount of weight for that fight. I think this fight could go either way, but I think Roy is going to KO Werdum. This is the logic I’m going with: Werdum got smashed by JDS in 1 min and 20 seconds while Nelson took everything JDS had for 3 rounds and even landed a few of his own shots. I’m not saying it’s sound logic…but I’m going with it. Big Country by KO, 3rd Round.

Kid Presentable: I love Roy. He is hilarious. When i heard "Fighting out of the red corner... he is a kung-fu fighter..." he made me a fan for life. But ultimately, I think this could be a tough fight for him. I always want to believe Roy is on the cusp of becoming a top tier heavyweight, but whenever he comes up to that tests he shows that he is more of a gate keeper. Werdum was made out to be a chump when he got styled on by then nobody Junior Dos Santos, but he has underrated boxing and the most savage ground game in the division and has since bounced back his reputation. I really think Werdum would have even beaten Overeem in their last fight had he just kept it standing. Werdum was so desperate to get it to the ground he cost himself the fight, when many times during the standing portions he was beating Reem to the punch with better hand speed and combinations. The chance for Roy to KO Fab is definitely there, but I think Werdum is better enough to take this. Werdum by decision.

DJ Mark with a “K”: Roy Nelson has really turned his career around since fighting in the UFC. Once a solid journeyman, Roy has made it crystal clear that he’s a major player in the Heavyweight Division. However, Fabricio Werdum has already shown that he’s a Top Ten level fighter for many years. I like Roy in this one because his path to victory is much more attainable. I can see Roy getting a KO/TKO more so then I can see Werdum getting a submission and if it goes the distance, I also see Roy using his weight to keep it standing and in his control. Nelson by TKO, 3rd Round.

Lavender Gooms: It’s great that the Strikeforce heavyweights are making their way into the UFC. The division needs the infusion. It took long enough for Roy Nelson to realize that for a serious run at the title he needed to slim down at least a little bit and it showed in his last fight against Cro Cop. They are both talented in BJJ, Werdum will be looking to take this fight to the ground. Werdum is very long and quicker than Roy. If he can avoid Roy’s overhand right and take it to the ground he has a shot of finished him. However, if Roy gets on top of Werdum, I think Big Country has the upper hand and will use his skill and ample belly to point his way to victory. Nelson by Decision.

Picking Nelson: Dr. Law, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Werdum: Kid P