This week is perhaps the biggest week ever in MMA history. First, we have the historic first ever network TV prime time MMA card. It should have been the UFC, but Dana White messed it up.
Then on June 1 we have WEC on Versus, Faber and Pulver top the card. Two huge events.
The EliteXC card is actually the worst of the two, talent wise. Many UFC rejects and has beens fill the card, but it should be entertaining to say the least.
I have to admit that I know next to nothing about most of the fighters, so my picks should be... Well, about as accurate as they always are...
Card and My picks:
Joe Sampieri vs Mike Groves (Lightweight)
Joe has had two fights, both in the troubled IFL... He lost both one by decision and the other by RNC. Joe is a Muay Thai guy, who seems to have very little ground skill.
Make Groves also has had two fights, and, ironically enough, lost both by decision and RNC. Remind you of anybody? I have found nothing on Mike... So his style is unknown to me.
Ummm... Wow. Two guys with records of 0-2 fighting on the biggest card in MMA history. Awesome. I know more about Joe, and he fought in the bigger promotion, so Joe by KO first round.
Zach Makovsky vs Andre Soares (Bantamweight)
Zach is from the East coast and has a record of 3-1, all three of his wins are by decision...
Andre fights out of ATT and has a record of 5-1, all but one of his wins come by submission. He is a Marcus Aurelio BJJ Black Belt.
Andre should not have much trouble with Zach. Andre by RNC first round.
James Jones vs Calvin Kattar (Lightweight)
James has fought in a host of middle level events, BodogFight, Ring of Combat, and once in the Showtime presented, EliteXC promoted, ShoXC. He has amassed a decent record of 8-7, winning, and loosing, by decision or submission. He trains out of Ground Control Academy Baltimore.
Calvin Kattar is 1-0 beating the 5-7 Bob Pupa by KO in 30 seconds. Not much time to really determine a style...
James has much more experience, especially the important experience of being in front of a lot of fans. James by some sort of choke first round.
Justin Robbins vs Wilson Reis (Featherweight)
Justin lost his last fight to Antonio Banuelos in the WEC. It seems odd that Zuffa would drop him after just one fight, but that is what appears to have happened. Justin has a good record of 10-3-1.
Wilson won his last fight at ShoXC by choke over Zach Makovsky. Wilson trains at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu United in Philly, and was just promoted to Black Belt after winning the 2004 Mundal Championships.
Interesting fight... We have the accomplished BJJ Black Belt vs the experienced cage fighter. I think that experience will win out here, Justin by KO first round.
Nick Serra vs Matt Makowski (Welterweight)
Nick Serra is Matt Serra's brother, and, not surprisingly, is a BJJ fighter out of Renzo Gracie's school. Nick has been at this a while, having his first fight in 1999. He has been relatively inactive, though, only fighting about once a year to amass a record of 4-2. He has fought in the UFC, making his only appearance at the Chuck Liddell/Vitor Belfort headlined 37.5.
Matt won his last fight at ShoXC by RNC. Matt trains with Wilson Reis, and his BJJ training shows, all but one if his wins in his 5-0 record come by submission.
BJJ guy vs BJJ guy. I wonder if the fight will be settled on the ground? I have never been a big fan of the Serra's BJJ, but they certainly have a better pedigree than most... I say Matt by decision.
Chris Liguori vs Jim Bova (Middleweight? Welterweight? Liguori fights at 185, Bova fights at 160)
Chris knocks people out, or he gets submitted.
Jim seems to be a submission guy. He is training out of Anthracite Combat Club, and has a record of 10-1.
Chris is so much bigger than Jim. Jim normally fights as a lightweight, Chris normally fights at middleweight. That is a ton of weight to give up/cut. I don't know who is doing what yet... I still say that the heavier guy wins. Chris by KO second round.
Carlton Haselrig vs Carlos Moreno (Heavyweight)
Carlton (not the guy from Fresh Prince) is 1-0, and fighting on the card that will have perhaps the biggest audience ever... nice.
Carlos is 7-2, and knocks most people out.
Easy one. Carlos wins by KO first round.
Phil Baroni vs Joey Villasenor (Middleweight)
Phil likes to hit people hard. He gasses out if the fight goes more than 5 minutes.
Joey also likes to hit people hard. He rarely gasses out.
I think that Joey gets caught here. Joey does not do a good job of defence and I think that that costs him. Phil by first round KO.
Brett Rogers vs Jon Murphy (Heavyweight)
Gina Carano vs Kaitlin Young (Chick fight Featherweight?)
Gina is hot. She has some skill, but mostly she is better at cutting weight than the other girls.
Kaitlin is a kickboxer with limited ground skill.
I look at this fight as a striker with some ground skill fighting a striker with no ground skill. Usually the one with the best ground wins. One of the issues here though is Gina has been busy with American Gladiators, and has not done the proper training for this fight. Will she make weight? Will she be in good enough shape if the fight goes in to the later rounds? I think that this ends relatively quickly, because it has to. Either Gina gets knocked out later on because of fatigue, or Gina gets the sub. Gina by armbar first round.
Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith (Middleweight)
Robbie has seen his fortunes rise lately, beating some very tough opposition in his last 4 fights. He first knocked out the heavy handed Joey Villasenor, then he knocked out the submission wizard Eduardo Pamplona, THEN he knocked out Frank Trigg, finally he KOed Murilo "Ninja" Rua to win the belt. He is on a tear!
Scott Smith was cut from the UFC after losing by RNC to Ed Herman. Before his stint in the UFC, Scott did very well in the WEC, beating several quality opponents. Scott is a striker with OK ground skill, but not a lot of submissions, other than the occasional RNC.
I think that at this time, Robbie is on a different level than Scott. Robbie by KO first round.
Kevin Ferguson vs James Thompson (Heavyweight)
Kevin Ferguson or "Kimbo Slice" if you like his Internet name, is a beast of a man training with Bas Rutten. Kevin has good boxing and very solid power, but is untested in the ways of MMA. We don't know about his ground game. We don't know about his cardio. We don't know if he can keep up with a good kickboxer. We know virtually nothing about him.
James Thopson is a relatively accomplished, if not predictable, MMA fighter. He has wins over such luminaries as Don Frye, Giant Silva, Yoshida, and the guy who left Sumo for MMA, Henry Miller...
I would like to say that James will play this smart and trade a few jabs with Kevin, then shoot and test Kevin on the ground, but that will not happen... James is going to do what James does... He is going to charge Kevin, throwing bombs the whole way. Kevin will stun him with a few good jabs, then put "The Colusus" away with big right hands. Kevin by KO early first round.