UFC 77 comes out with a good card, and MAMA's 5th figh in the big show!
Matt Grice Vs. Jason Black (Lightweight)
Matt Grice lost his debut by guillotine choke to Terry Etim. It was his first loss. Matt is a wrestler and wins his fights by G&P. He does need to work on his submissions...
Jason Black lost his much anticipated debut in the UFC by triangle to Thiago Tavares. Black was absolutely dominated in that fight, and he is looking for some serious pay back. Black is 24-3 coming in to this fight. He wins by all methods, but seems to favor submissions.
Matt Grice is nothing new to Jason Black. Jason trains with some of the best MMA wrestlers in the world. This should be a quick win for Black. Jason by armbar first round.
Josh Burkman Vs. Forrest Petz (Welterweight)
Burkman lost a decision to Karo Parisyan back in May. We all know Josh. He is a good wrestler with solid stand up. He uses his wrestling ability to lock on submissions or the KO win.
Forrest Petz won his last fight in the UFC beating Luigi Fioravanti by decision. Forrest has had so-so luck in the UFC going 2-2, getting his other win over Sam Morgan by decision, and dropping fights to Marcus Davis (guillotine) and Kuniyoshi Hironaka (decision).
I don't think that Petz will be much trouble for the People's Warrior. Burkman by KO second round.
Demian Maia Vs. Ryan Jensen (Middleweight)
Demian Maia is best know as one of the few men who have beaten Jacare in a gi match. He is currently 3-0 in MMA, his biggest fight a submission win over Ryan Stout. BJJ is, of course, his style. His stand up is not very solid from what I have seen.
Ryan Jensen is a friend of mine and a training partner. I have spent quite a bit of time with Ryan before this fight, and I can say he is looking very sharp. He lost his initial fight in the UFC, to Thales Leites by armbar.
The difference in this fight will be who has the best takedown defense and the better stand up. Maia likes to throw some wild punches then shoot for the single leg. Ryan knows how to defend the single leg and is a very strong stand up fighter. The only way Maia can beat Jensen is to get him down and try for a submission. I just don't see it happening. Jensen will be the best, most well rounded opponent that Maia has ever seen. Jensen by KO second round.
Jason MacDonald Vs. Yushin Okami (Middleweight)
Jason beat Rory Singer by KO in his last fight in the UFC. Jason is very good on the ground with 14 of his 17 wins coming by submission. Jason has been in there with some very good fighters too, beating Joe Dorkson by RNC, and Ed Herman by triangle.
Yushin Okami was dominated by Rich Franklin in his last fight in the UFC, but has performed well in the big show so far. He has beaten Alan Belcher (decision), Kalib Starnes (KO), Rory Singer (srikes submission), and Mike Swick (decision). All quality opponents.
Jason will give Okami the fight that he is most used to. A little bit of stand up, and a lot of ground. That is Okami's bread and butter... or gohan to sakana if you will. There is one big exception; Jason is bigger, stronger, and more athletic that anyone Okami has faced before with the exception of Rich Franklin. I think that Jason wins this one. Jason by decision.
Alan Belcher Vs. Kalib Starnes (Middleweight)
Alan Belcher beat Sean Salmon by guillotine in his last fight, but that is not the choke he is known for... no he is more known as the guy who got caught in a Kendal Grove Darce choke in the fight before that. Alan has good power, and decent submissions.
Kalib was the guy who walked out of the semi final match against Kendal Grove at TUF 3. He won his last fight, a decision over Chris Leben. Interesting win, I was sure that Leben would have stomped him. Kalib has never really impressed me, but he has heart and some very good submissions.
I think that Kalib wins this one. He has better submissions, and I really don't believe that Belcher deserves to be in the UFC. Kalib by RNC first round.
Eric Schafer Vs. Stephan Bonnar (Light Heavyweight)
Eric Schafer is well known for his dislike of Team Vaghi... That's us. Scott beat him up in a BJJ match once. Anywho, Schafer is a ground guy who lost his last fight by KO to Michael Bisping. Before that he won his last 5 fights by submission.
Stephan Bonnar won his last fight over the hapless Mike Nickels by RNC. He lost his last major fight by decision to Forrest Griffin. He then tested hot for steroids, and was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
This is kind of a tough call, because Bonnar really does not do well against guys who can grapple. Then again, Schafer does not do well against guys who can strike... I don't think that either one will get the finish. Stephan can only finish from the ground, and Eric is too good to get caught. Schafer rarely throws punches so he wants to go to the ground, and Stephan has been around too much to get caught there. I say Bonnar by decision.
Alvin Robinson Vs. Jorge Gurgel (Lightweight)
Alvin got finished by Kenny Florian back in July. He did not put up much of a fight. Alvin has fought some people we know, he beat Alonso Martinez and Luke Caudillo both by RNC way back in 2005. Alvin is out of Royce Gracie's Dever gym, and, as you would expect, he wins by submission or by nothing at all. His 8 wins are all by submission, and his two losses are both by strikes.
Jorge has had very little luck in the UFC. He has been fighting injured for so long, he probably injures himself before each fight so he can get ready. Jorge's last win over a quality opponent was over Jason Ireland by RNC way back in Feburary of 2005. Since then he was on TUF, with a messed up knee. He lost to Jason von Flue by decision. After that he messed up his other knee and lost a three round decision to Mark Hominick. With that same messed up knee he won a decision over Danny Abbadi. Then he fixed his knee, and beat Diego Saraiva with a sprained ankle. Not just a little sprained, twice its normal size sprained. Jorge says that he is 100% for this fight... We will see.
I think that Alvin is being served to Jorge so that he can win in front of his home town. Judging by the way Alvin was finished so easily by Kenny, I don't think that Jorge will have much of a problem. Jorge by ref stoppage from strikes from the mount round one.
Tim Sylvia Vs. Brandon Vera (Heavyweight)
Tim lost to Randy in his last fight. Before that he looked reasonably good winning a decision over Jeff Monson. Before that he looked downright crappy against Andre Arlofski, winning that one by decision. Tim is really tall and now fancies himself a boxer.
Brandon left the UFC nearly a year ago for greener pastures. Unfortunately, the other pasture was sold to the UFC, and Brandon was out of luck. The Truth returns to fight his biggest opponent in his biggest fight. Brandon is still very new to the fight game having only a record of 8-0. He has very heavy hands and quick explosive wrestling. He has won all but two of his fights by KO. He has one submission (Assuerio Silva guillotine) and one decision (Don Richard - I don't know this guy either, but he must be cool... he has two first names!!!).
I think that Tim has lost the edge and Brandon will do to him what Randy would have if Randy could punch like Brandon. Brandon by KO second round.
Rich Franklin Vs. Anderson Silva (Middleweight)
Rich was the champion. He has good wrestling and very good standup.
Silva is the champion. He took the belt from Rich by smashing his ribs with knees from the plumb clinch then smashing his nose. Siva has OK ground and phenomenal stand up.
Anderson demolished Rich in their last fight. He beat Rich so badly to the body that Rich didn't care to protect his face. Silva took an in shape monster like Franklin and inside of three minutes had him looking at the clock showing everybody how hurt to the body he was. Can Rich comeback from that kind of a beating? Anderson did look a little vulnerable against Travis Lutter. He looked like a killing machine against Nathan Marquardt. In his last seven fights he has only gone out of the first frame once. ONCE!! Against names like Rich Franklin, Jorge Rivera, Chris Leben, Curtis Stout, Travis Lutter, and Tony Furkland.
Silva does have a weak spot. He is rather easy to take down. In his three losses (compared to 19 wins) two have come by submission. One was the best flying heel hook ever seen in MMA, the other was a triangle choke by the less than stellar Daiju Takase back in 2003. If Rich can get Anderson down and get to a decent position, not guard, but half guard or side control, Rich might have a chance. If Rich decides to keep it on the feet, he is going to get mauled again.
I think that it will be more competitive this time, but the result will be the same. Anderson by KO third round!