Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou)

The UFC returns to Boston when the two baddest men on the planet go head to head in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Thomas “Thominhas” Almeida vs. Rob Font

These two fast paced strikers will not let this fight anywhere near the judges as you can surely expect a knockout. Thomas Almeida so far has only lost to top contenders Jimmie Rivera and Cody Garbrandt (which is nothing to be ashamed of). Meanwhile, Rob Font is an up-and-comer who utilizes his boxing to wear down his opponents and isn’t afraid to go for takedowns either. The big difference between these two will be speed. Almeida clearly has the faster hands that can surely put Font’s lights out in this one. Font would also be overwhelmed by Almeida’s constant push and ability to stand and trade in the pocket. The ground game is also a no-no for Font as Almeida is a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Expect a quick win for Almeida via his sharp and accurate punches.

Predicted winner: Thomas Almeida via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Gian Villante vs. Francimar “Bodao” Barroso

This fight could be sleeper as both Gian Villante and Francimar Barroso are known for their conservative striking approach in the octagon. The difference of the two is that, even though Barroso has a Black Belt in both Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Villante just seems a bit more faster and accurate with his strikes. His striking isn’t always pretty but I feel it will get the job done against the tentative Barroso. Also, Barroso won’t be able to utilize his Jiu-Jitsu because Villante’s takedown defense is superb. Villante does have a chance to get a knockout but I think the fight goes the distance as Barroso will mainly play defense to ensure a knockout from the lethal Villante does not happen.

Predicted winner: Gian Villante via Decision

Calvin Kattar vs. Shane “Hurricane” Burgos

A third striker vs. striker match on this card makes me wonder if the UFC is looking for all knockouts here in Boston. Regardless, this one has two men on impressive win streaks going head-to-head. Both Shane Burgos and Calvin Kattar has utilized their impressive boxing to defeat their foes inside the octagon. Burgos, however, has the greater defense of the two as he is able to roll with the punches thrown at him and also is great at baiting his opponents in to throwing at him so that he can counter. A big question that I have about this fight is ‘who is going to be the one pressuring in this fight?’ This could be the determining factor for ho wins but I still have to go with Burgos who is undefeated and may also shoot for some takedowns if he ever gets in a jam. A finish seems possible, but I think Kattar’s skills should last him to the final horn.

Predicted winner: Shane Burgos via Decision

Daniel “DC” Cormier (c) vs. Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir

I once predicted that Volkan Oezdimir would get a title shot, but I didn’t say he will win it. Daniel Cormier is one of the best wrestlers the UFC has ever seen. I have total confidence that DC will be able to land a takedown on Oezdimir in “No Time.” This will zap the energy right out of Oezdemir as he struggles to get up. This would result in Oezdemir losing his devastating knockout power. He might be able to survive the first, but I predict the second round being where DC puts him away with a submission similar to how DC did against Anthony Johnson (twice).

Predicted winner: Daniel Cormier via Submission in Round 2

Stipe Miocic (c) vs. Francis “The Predator” Ngannou

This matchup is frustrating to pick due to both guys being able to knock each other out. It is all about who is faster on the draw. After watching their footage repeatedly and very closely, I have to go with Francis Ngannou on this one. My reasoning is that Stipe Miocic has been to hittable in his fights where as Ngannou has been great at defense. Miocic can definitely put anybody down with his hands but I feel he will have to eat a few shots before it happens. And if those shots come from Ngannou, then I do not see a clear path for victory. Then again, Miocic does have an impressive wrestling pedigree that can put “The Predator” on his ass. However, I see this being only to stall as I don’t think he can keep Ngannou down or do enough damage from the top. So in the end, I see Ngannou putting Miocic to sleep via one of those devastating nukes he calls fists early in the fight

Predicted winner: Francis Ngannou via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (April 28th – May 3rd, 2017)

A whole new week means a whole new set of MMA news and events that needs to be discussed by yours truly. So let’s get right into it with some interesting topics for this week:

Paige Vanzant posts sexy Reebok ad of herself then deletes it after backlash

You knew we were going to talk about this. The ad that Paige Vanzant created herself to promote Reebok has created criticism from many of her co-workers and MMA fans alike. I watched the video myself and can see why some people would be upset. Vanzant should be promoting herself as an MMA fighter and not a model. The way she acted was more like one of thos instagram models who get paid to take selfies instead of an actual athlete. However, she does have the power to do whatever the hell she wants (whether I think it makes her look like a jackass or not). Her deleting the post shows that she regretted something about the video when the response came back at her. I think if she wants to be viewed as an actual threat in the UFC strawweight division then she needs to stop creatiing thee softcore porn videos and get back into the octagon as soon as possible to show that this is what she want to do. If not then she can stick to dancing and making these types of videos for her “male followers.”

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier get into heated Twitter exchange (again)

This was not really much of a huge shocker but the internet has been buzzing of Jon Jones’ pretty funny comeback to Daniel Cormier. I think a guy like Jones who said the PED he used was actually viagra should not be talking about popping anyone’s cherry. Just saying. Still, as an MMA fan I cannot wait for this fight to happen to see if Jones still has it or if DC is the new face of the light heavyweight division.

Anthony Joshua‘s stops Wladimir Klitschko in epic boxing match

This was some good TV right here. I’m not one to watch boxing, but when I heard how good this fight was then I had to watch the replay. For a moment there I (like a lot of people) thought that Wladimir Klitschko was going to hand Anthony Joshua his first loss when he dropped him in the 6th round if I remember correctly. But Joshua came back to put his opponent away. If you have not watched this fight yet then I recommend that you do because this fight may have just put the boxing heavyweight scene back on the map.

ESPN layoffs an its impact on the UFC

This is a bit more grimmer news as ESPN has been laying off employees left and right. Many have associated this as bad news for the UFC as what was once the biggest cable sports network is now starting to realize that live cable sports is no longer what people are interested in. The UFC may realize the same which could drastically change how MMA is presented to audiences. I’m not exactly sure about much of this stuff. I’m just a fan and nothing more. However, I am not too happy about change in my favorite sport broadcast. Here’s to hoping that this signifies good change and will instead enhance our way of viewing MMA.

Bethe Correia vs Holly Holm

This is going to be one of my favorite female matchups of the year because of who is involved. Bether Correia has been trying to get another title shot after blowing it against the once dominant Ronda Rousey. Beating Holly Holm will definitely give her another shot at the title. Holm as actually on a three fight losing streak but still believes she is in the title mix. If she is right then a win will put her in an interesting match against Amanda Nunes or a rematch against Germaine De Randamie. Correia on the other hand believes she can knockout Holm. This is crazy in my opinion but it is this kind of confidence that Correia will need to defeat Holm. This is an interesting contest that a lot of people are immediately giving to Holm, but do not forget that Correia had an impressive winning streak before running into Rousey. This could be anyones and I cannot wait to see how their styles matchup.

Other News:

What Next?

What Next? (UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov)

Fighters do not always like to think what fights they will be in next after feeling the relief of finishing their last fight. The fight game is neverending, however, and so I list ouf the best outcome for the winners and losers from the UFC event that shook Nashville up.

Jake Ellenberger:

Ok, bear with me on this one for a bit. I honestly believe that Jake Ellenberger should just throw in the towel and hang up the gloves because I do not see him doing much in this division other than what he did against his opponent this past Saturday. I do not want to pick an opponent for him because I think he’s done. The UFC was going to let him go before he changed their mind by beating Matt Brown in spectacular fashion at UFC 201. But then he was defeated twice in a row after that via KO/TKO. I know how his next fight is going to end but he more than likely won’t listen to my pleas to stop fighting and will take another fight anyways. His next opponent (if he chooses to have one) should be Bryan Barberena. That guy showed why he is force to be reckon with when he beat Sage Northcutt over a year ago. His recent knockout on, the same card that Ellenberger ate the people’s elbow, was beautifully well done. Now all he needs is a win over a veteran under his belt and he will begin to get more challenging matchups. This is the fight to make.

Next opponent: Bryan Barbarena

Mike “Platinum” Perry:

This was a tricky one to pick because of every fighter in this division and their moms being booked for a fight already. The lone fighter that is available but still at a resonable place on the rankings for Mike Perry is Ryan LaFlare who last fought at UFC 208 where he won a decision victory against Roan Carneiro. If he is down for it, there is a hungry fighter in Mike Perry wuld love to fight in what would be an interesting matchup considering the two fighters’ skill set.

Next opponent: Ryan LaFlare

Joe Lauzon:

Joe Lauzon should keep his head up after this decision loss (that I don’t think was deserved). Lauzon needs to find an opponent that will put him back into relevancy. The opponent I’m thinking of here is Will Brooks who has a record of 19 wins and 3 losses. The veteran Lauzon would see himself having the edge due to his years of experience while Brooks would think his better record is an indicator that he is the superior athlete. I would like this fight to happen because it just says fight of the night contender to me.

Next opponent: Will Brooks

Stevie “Braveheart” Ray:

Stevie Ray is sure looking for a ranked opponent after beating a veteran in the lightweight division. The lowest and most available option he has right now is Rashid Magomedov who actually fought a weekend before Ray did. This is a sign that these two paths are likely to cross in the near future. And I mean VERY near future.

Next opponent: Rashid Magomedov

Eddie Wineland:

Eddie Wineland was clearly outmatched from his much stronger and faster opponent. His best bet is to face off against a lower ranked opponent to build his skillset and technique. Iuri Alcântara is trying to move up and would be a great challenge for Wineland. Both men can look to benefit from this fight.

Next opponent: Iuri Alcântara

John “The Magician” Dodson:

Jimmie Rivera was expected to face Bryan Caraway earlier this year but never got to due to his opponent having and undisclosed injury. He turned down a fight with Marlon Vera due to Vera having a lack of rank or relevance in the division. If Rivera is looking for a rank and some relevance in his opponents then Jon Dodson is his man. Dodson would love the oppurtunnity to move up while Rivera must be hungry for a fight since having his last fight in September of last year.

Next opponent: Jimmie Revera

Marcos “Pezao” Rogerio de Lima:

It is pretty embarassing when you come in heavy and still lose the fight. It shows a lack of seriousness and responsibility in MMA. Marcos Rogerio de Lima should look to bounce back by beating another unranked light heavyweight fighter (and making weight). Devin Clark is a perfect opponent for him seeing how Clark has only suffered one loss in his nine pro fights (via knockout). This could be anyone’s fight and I would love to see who wants to move on up in this division more. Who is willing to dig deep to win this contest? Good luck predicting this one.

Next opponent: Devin Clark

Ovince Saint Preux:

If Ovince Saint Preux wants to move up the rankings quickly and easily then he should look for the fight against the man he had already beat in Shogun Rua. However since we are being fair, OSP’s next opponent should honsetly be Corey Anderson who is looking to bounce back from his knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa this past March.  It would be a great matchup for both fighters seeing as they are both highly touted as young, skilled talent in the division.

Next opponent: Corey Anderson

Diego “Lionheart” Sanchez:

I think Father Time has finally caught up to Diego Sanchez. He tries to be more patient with his strikes because brawling usually sees him getting knocked out. His timidness did not help as he still found him self going to sleep due to punches to the cranium. I want him to retire before he takes anymore serious damage but if he wants to fight and continue to get kncoked out that badly then undefeated prospect Gregor Gillespie is fresh and looking for someone to knockout to become more relevent in a very competitive division.

Next opponent: Gregor Gillespie

Al “Raging” Iaquinta:

This was another tricky one due to the fact that a lot of the fighters around Al Iaquinta’s rank are either MIA or injured. The only one available right now is Kevin Lee who Iaquinta has beaten in the past (yet Lee is somehow ahead of Iaquinta in the rankings). Beneil Dariush wouldn’t be a bad pick if he didn’t have a medical suspension due to that vicious flying knee KO he suffered from Edson Barboza. The fight between Iaquinta and Lee that first happened in 2014 needs a do-over that I’m sure both fighters would want. Lee would love to avenge that loss and Iaquinta would love to move up the rankings. That is assuming Iaquinta isn’t more interested in real estate than fighting.

Next opponent: Kevin Lee

Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov:

Artem Lobov needs to go back to facing unranked guys in the featherweight division. He can start by taking on the undefeated Shane Burgos. Both guys like to throw heavy hands and have a bit of jiu-jitsu experience. Plus knocking off an undefeated guy would put you right back into a fight with another ranked fighter. Burgos would also like to beat a guy who just had a five round main event showdown with a number four ranked fighter.

Next opponent: Shane Burgos

Cub Swanson

After showing why he deserves another shot at the title, you would assume Cub Swanson would get it after thiss impressive performance. However, being ranked fourth in the division and beating an unranked fighter doesn’t give you a title shot in my opinion. I believe he needs to go again with a former opponent of his in Ricardo Lamas to truly give him the credibility of a title challenger.

Next opponent: Ricardo Lamas