Wednesday, April 4, 2007

UFC 69 Shootout

They call this one shootout, but I call it "The Return of TUF!!!" All but one of the 9 fights feature at least one fighter who was on a TUF season. TWO of the fights pit fighters from the same season of TUF. The UFC loves its TUF boys, I don't know why you even try hard on the show, because if you win one fight, you get another fight on an Ultimate fight night. Win two fights, you get to be on a PPV. Win the whole thing, and you get fed creampuffs for your first 4 fights on PPV. Only Jason Thacker and Jeremy Jackson have never been heard from again.

Josh Haynes Vs. Luke Cummo (Welterweight)
Josh is the blue headed wonder out of Team Quest. I say wonder because with his sloppy stand up and horrible ground game it is a wonder that he wins fights. But winning is not what he has done lately. In his last five official fights he has gone 1-4. His only win over Seth Kleinbeck by RNC. Don't know who he is? That's ok, I don't either. He does fight for the We$t$ide Fight Team. I did not add the dollar signs... that is all them... Anyway Josh did what any fighter does who is loosing a lot... drop weight. Josh started out as a 215lb heavyweight, dropped to 205 for TUF, and now fights at 170. He sports an official 12-7 record with 10 of his wins by KO. Josh may be sloppy but he hits hard.
Luke is 1-2 in the UFC outside of the show. He has had some very tough losses where he fought very hard, but was dominated by more athletic fighters. He best showing by far was his decision win over Jason Von Flue. He dominated the stand up, and controlled on the ground. Luke is on the weird side, and fights out of Matt Serra's gym.
This is a tough fight to call because you have the sloppiness of Haynes combined with the average athlete heart of a lion of Cummo. Luke is easily over powered at his weight class by the bigger wrestlers, and that is not good since Haynes will be coming in much bigger than Luke will. Outside of that, Luke is just tenacious, and is good at exploiting little technical mistakes that his opponents make. I think that will be the deciding factor here. Luke by decision.

Marcus Davis Vs. Pete Spratt (Welterweight)
The Irish Hand Grenade returns to the Octagon after beating Shonie Carter by decision in front of a very pro Shonie carter crowd. Marcus has done well in the UFC after TUF going 2-0. Not bad for a guy who said he was retiring after tapping to Joe Stephenson in the show. Marcus is a boxer/wrestler. He trains out at MFS, so his game is complete, going 12-4 with 3 KOs and 6 subs.
Pete Spratt is a kickboxer who really has no ground game to speak of. His first fight in the UFC he did catch Zack Light with an armbar from the bottom, but we really have not seen any ground offence to speak of since. He tapped to Chris Lytle then to Matt Serra, losing both times on the ground. Pete is 15-9.
Marcus knows the score, and is no stranger to the ground. Pete knows the score and is no stranger to tapping. Marcus would be stupid to take on Spratt standing. He will shoot. Pete would be stupid to not know that Marcus is going to shoot. The issue here is that Pete really does not have any sprawl game to speak of, so he is going down. Macus by RNC second round.

Thales Leites Vs. Pete Sell (Welterweight)
Thales lost his debut by decision to Martin Kampmann, but showed great promise. Thales is a BJJ black belt out of Nova Uniao in Brazil, with a record of 10-1, with 7 subs and 2 KOs.
Pete Sell works out of Matt Serra's gym in New York. He lost his last outing by KO to Scott Smith in one of the most entertaining fights, and strangest endings ever. Pete likes the ground game, understandable coming from a BJJ team. His record is 7-2, with 3 submissions.
The thing about Pete is that he likes the ground game, but he really is not that good at it. He does not emulate the style of Matt Serra, and is rather passive on the ground. He will try to keep this fight standing, but I don't think that Thales will accommodate him. Thales is a master on the ground, and there he will overmatch Pete. Thales by armbar first round.

Brad Imes Vs. Heath Herring (Heavyweight)
Brad went to the minor leagues after tapping to a Dan Christison armbar in his last UFC outing. He went 2-0 with a KO and a triangle, and is hungry to return. Imes is 7-3 with 4 submissions, and one KO.
Heath had a terrible first outing in the UFC loosing to ham and egger Jake O'Brien. Heath was supposed to steamroll Jake, but somebody forgot to tell Jake that. Jake kept Heath on his back, and won the lay and pray decision. Heath did little to get himself off of the ground. In PRIDE Heath was a force, beating Tom Erickson (RNC), and TK (KO), he even managed to KO Garry Goodridge in K-1. Over all Heath is 26-12, showing a preference for submissions with 16, but still slinging the leather for 7 KOs.
This is an interesting match up with a Heath Herring who has clearly lost a few steps, and an inexperienced sloppy Brad Imes. I think that Imes is supposed to be a "name" that Herring can beat. Brad likes to fight from his back, and I don't think that is a good idea with the experienced Herring. Herring by KO third round.

Alan Belcher Vs. Kendall Grove (Middleweight)
Alan is coming off of a third round KO win over Jorge Santiago at the last UFN. Alan owns his own gym in Biloxi, and trains with BJJ black belt Helio Soneca. Alan is a BJJ blue belt and wins his fights with a mixture of KO and submissions. Alan is 1-1 in the UFC and 9-4 overall.
Kendall won season three of TUF, upsetting Ed Herman by decision to do it. Since then he has beat Chris Price by submission from strikes. He is a tall lanky fighter with very good knees, he broke Kalib Starnes' ribs in their fight. Kendall has a record of 8-3, 5 submissions and 2 KOs.
Kendall is supposed to win this one. Alan is a little tougher opponent than Chris Price, but not as tough as really anyone of consequence. The UFC wants to build his mystique. Alan is not a push over so Kendall will have to work hard, but I see this one happening like this: short stand up exchange, Alan shoots gets the takedown, Kendall reversing position and finishing with his Tito Ortiz trained G&P. Kendall by ref stoppage second round.

Yushin Okami Vs. Mike Swick (Welterweight)
Yushin Okami snuck up on the UFC by beating all of the TUF fighters they could throw at him... which was two. He beat Alan Belcher by decision, then knocked out Kalib Starnes, then made Rory Singer tap to strikes. Okami likes the ground, he has a very fast shot, but tends to give up on it quickly. His record is 23-3 with many of his wins coming by KO (8). Even so he is a ground guy winning decisions with dominant position.
Mike Swick has found his stride in the UFC, winning 5 in a row since moving in to his normal weight class of 185. His biggest win so far was over David Loiseau. He beat David by decision, but dominated the Canadian standing and on the ground. Mike is known for flash knock outs, and even faster submissions. Thus earning his nickname "Quick". Mike is 10-1 with 3 submissions, and 4 KOs.
Okami tends to have trouble with fighters who are good wrestlers and have heavy hands. Mike Swick has trouble with fighters who swing wildly, or attack methodically on the ground... Okami is nether of these, however Mike Swick is a heavy handed wrestler. Okami has a decent chin, but he tends to stick it out where it can be hit. Mike is a powerful accurate puncher who can easily hit the mark. Swick by KO first round.

Diego Sanchez Vs. Josh Koscheck (Middleweight)
Diego is on a 6 fight winning streak in the UFC and a 17 fight winning streak overall. We all know the TUF 1 Middleweight winner. He has good hands, powerful knees, and strong submissions. He likes to exchange a bit standing up, get the takedown, G&P for position then G&P for the win or until the submission presents its self.
Kos is a wrestler. He has learned some stand up, but not very much. He is very much like the fighter we saw in TUF 1. Explosive takedowns, weak submissions, weak G&P.
I don't see a need for this fight because Kos is a very slow learner while Diego has improved dramatically. Koscheck will be hoping for the takedown, like the last time, Deigo will stuff him, like the last time, and throw knees in to Kos' noggin. If Josh tries to stand with Diego, it will be over very quickly as Kos can not match Diego's hand speed. Diego by KO first round.

Roger Huerta Vs. Leonard Garcia (Lightweight)
Roger is 2-0 in the UFC beating Jason Dent by decision and John Halverson by KO. Roger is showing real talent in the lightweight division, and absorbing all his MFS teammates can teach him.
Leonard Garcia is a Marc Laimon fighter with a record of 9-1, 8 by submission, one by KO. Garcia is a dynamic fighter known for throwing submission anywhere he sees an opening, even standing up. One of his fights ended when he caught Shawn Simpson with a flying triangle choke.
Interesting match up, but I don't think that Roger is going to get caught by any crazy submission. I think that a take down here is inevitable, but which fighter will get it? Hard to say... I call Roger by G&P KO second round.

Georges St-Pierre Vs. Matt Serra (Welterweight)
GSP beat Matt Hughes (KO), BJ Penn (decision), Frank Trigg (RNC), Sean Sherk (KO), Dave Strasser (Kimura), and Jason Miller (decision). He is the man.
Matt Serra could barely get through Shonie Carter and Chris Lytle. He is not the man.
Matt Serra does not deserve to be in the same ring as GSP, let a lone in a fight with him. GSP will stuff all of Matt's takedown attempts. If Sherk could not get GSP down, Serra certainly won't. GSP will then knock Matt out standing. GSP KO first round.

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