Tuesday, January 15, 2008

UFC 80

UFC has an OK card for UFC 80...

Per Eklund Vs. Sam Stout
Per what per hour? Per gallon? I really don't know much about Per... other than he is from Sweeden. He beat ATT fighter Rafael Dias at BodogFight. His biggest fight was a TKO loss in Shooto to Tatsuya Kawajiri. His record is 10-3-1, with mostly submissions and decisions for his wins.
Sam Stout has been a stand out in his native Canada's TKO organization, but has struggled in the UFC. He has a split decision win over a grossly underprepared Spencer Fisher, a RNC loss to KenFlo, and a decision loss to Spence in the rematch. His overall style is as a striker, but he has shown a good sprawl, and the ability to defend submissions and work for the stand up.
I don't think that Per has a chance. Sam by murde... I mean KO first round.

James Lee Vs. Alessio Sakara
James Lee is a submission guy out of Detroit. When I say submission I mean heel hook/ankle lock guy. Of his 11 wins, 10 are by submission of those 10, four are by heel hook or ankle lock. I like that in a fighter! His two losses also come by submission, but to A level fighters. Both Vernon White (heel hook, live by the sword...) and Dean Lister (armbar) have made James tap.
Sakara got destroyed by Houston Alexander in his last fight out. Since then he has taken up with ATT to improve his ground game. Sakara's style looks to be as close to boxing as you can get in MMA.
This is a fun match up that could have a lot of fireworks. How is James' clinch and takedown game? Has Sakara learned enough at ATT to keep the fight standing, and avoid James' killer foot locks? I think not. I think James wins by heel hook, cause I like the cut of his jib!!!!

Paul Kelly Vs. Paul Taylor
Paul Kelly has two first names. He is also 7-0 with all but two of those coming by KO, the others are submissions... ummm He is from England.
Paul Taylor on the other hand has only one first name and is 8-3, 1-1 in the UFC. His last fight was a loss to Marcus Davis by one of the sweetest armbars ever in MMA.

In case you forgot...

Anyway Taylor has trouble with the ground game and wins mostly by KO.
This should be a stand up war, IF Kelly believes that he can survive on his feet. Otherwise I think that Kelly will try to get the fight to the ground, and exploit Taylor's obvious weakness. Taylor by decision.

Antoni Hardonk Vs. Colin Robinson
Hardonk lost to Frank Mir by Kimura in his last outing; putting his UFC record at 1-2. Hardonk is a kickboxer out of Holland, and we know he has a hell of a leg kick. Just ask Sherman Pendergarst who took too many of them.
Colin Robinson lost by KO to Eddie Sanchez back in June. This put his record at 4-3. The only thing he has going for him at this point is he lives in England, and since that is where this UFC is being held, Zuffa keeps calling him back.
Hardonk should have very little problem putting away Colin. Seriously, if you can take out Sherman Pendergarst, you should be able to put away Colin Robinson, right? Hardonk by KO second round.

Jorge Rivera Vs. Kendall Grove
Jorge looked really good knocking out Edwin Dewees on the TUF 4 final... Jorge looked really bad getting knocked out by Terrible Terry Martin... Jorge is one of those guys that just cannot find a groove in the UFC. He wins a fight, then looses a fight, wins a fight then looses a fight. He is 3-4 in the UFC beating guys like Dewees, Dennis Hallman, and David Loiseau. Jorge is no slouch. He has very good submissions and solid stand up skills.
Kendal Grove in his last fight became the first person that Patrick Cote finished in the UFC. Before that he pulled of what was probably the first D'Arce choke in the UFC over Alan Belcher. Kendal has good submissions and ok kickboxing. He has heart for miles. He just does not give up.
This is going to be a really good fight. Both guys are experienced in the UFC, both are coming off of bad KO losses. Both guys know how to lock on submissions. I have a feeling that this fight will go to the ground quickly and stay there for three rounds. Very tough call. Kendall by decision.

Wilson Gouveia Vs. Jason Lambert
Gouveia is 3-1 in the UFC, loosing a decision in his debut to Kieth Jardine, but then coming back to choke out Wes Combs, Seth Petruzelli, and Carmelo Marrero. Gouveia is a serious threat on the ground. His stand up on the other hand... not so happy. He has been knocked out by Rorry Singer. While I have nothing against Rorry, he just does not carry much power in his strikes. He and Rorry now train togther at ATT.
Lambert is very experienced with 29 fights under his belt. He is 4-1 in the UFC with wins over Rob Macdonald (Kimura), Terry Martin (KO stoppage from strikes), Branden Lee Hinkle (KO stoppage from strikes), and most recently Babalu (KO nearly killed Babalu). Of all the guys to meet in the UFC, Lambert is not one that you want to step in the ring with. He will hurt you from all angles, his submissions are set up with powerful punches. He really does not like the submission game, though choosing, instead, to simply smash you after securing unshakeable position.
This is a very good fight. Gouveia will want to put this fight on the ground immediately, and Lambert will want to keep the fight standing up. ATT is a good school, but they do not do a good job of teaching the art of the takedown. Wilson will need that art badly in order to get the much stronger man, Lambert, down. I don't see it happening. Jason by KO second round.

Jess Liaudin Vs. Marcus Davis
Jess made some noise for himself knocking out the highly touted, but under performing TUF alum Anthony Torres. Jess is a Muay Thai Kickboxer who learned a little BJJ. At 11-9 his record is not stunning, but it shows that he has been in some fights. Most of Jess' wins come by KO, even one by spinning backfist.
Marcus Davis is the boxer turned submission wizard beating Forrest Petz (guillotine choke), Pete Spratt (ankle lock), and Paul Taylor(armbar). Throw in a KO win over Jason Tan and a decision victory over Shonie Carter and you have an impressive win streak. Nice to see after Marcus almost hung up the gloves after his failure to win the TUF tournament.
I don't think that Jess has anything for Marcus. I think that Jess will try to convince Marcus to bang it out with him, but he will only succeed in getting taken down after Marcus sucks in one of his kicks. Marcus by armbar first round.

Gabriel Gonzaga Vs. Fabricio Werdum
Gonzaga is coming off of a very tough KO loss to Randy Coulture that saw Randy with a broken arm, and Gabe with a destroyed nose. Gabe was on a six fight win streak before Randy stopped him. But now that Randy and the UFC are in litigation, it leaves the Heavyweight title wide open again, and Gabe is looking to use his devastating stand up and powerful ground game to secure the belt.
Werdum is a PRIDE import who stumbled on Andrei Arlovski in his UFC debut. Even though he lost that fight via decision, don't count Werdum out yet. He has victories over Ebenezer Braga (KO), Tom Erikson (RNC), Alistair Overeem (Kimura), Aleksander Emelianenko (arm triangle choke), and let's not forget Gabriel Gonzaga (KO). Beside Nog, Werdum has one of the best BJJ attacks in MMA.
Let's face it, Gonzaga wants this fight. Bad. Really bad. He has been punishing himself for years that he lost to Werdum. It was his first loss, and one that he says should have never happened. Gonzaga is a completely different fighter since he last saw Werdum. Is Werdum a different fighter? I don't think so. Gabe by KO first round.

BJ Penn Vs. Joe Stevenson
BJ destroyed Jens Pulver in his last fight. It really looked like the BJ of old was back. BJ has hands of steel, and legs of rubber. He can pull off nearly any submission, and has the ability to knock the stuffing out of anybody. His biggest draw back is his head. BJ has very little heart. If things don't go his way the whole fight, he looses heart and gives up.
Joe Stevenson, for the most part, looks like he is just happy to be here. He was cracking Star Wars jokes to Luke Cummo before the biggest fight of his life. He put away ground magician Dokonjonosuke Mishima, and made silly comments. He seems to be loving life... but what the hell was that all about during training??? Why scream that your daddy beat you while working out??? Funky. Just funky.
Joe won his last fight beating Kurt Pellegrino by decision, and before that he tapped out a coked up Melvin Gulliard in 27 seconds. Joe has skill.
Joe may have skill, but he really does not stand a chance here unless BJ knocks himself out on the way to the ring. Joe had trouble keeping Luke Cummo on the ground, and I guarantee BJ is much better on the ground. Joe had fits with Josh Neer's stand up, and I guarantee BJ would hand "The Dentist" his teeth. BJ by RNC first round.

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