Saturday, January 31, 2009

UFC 94 GSP vs Penn 2

The UFC throws together something that could be very interesting, or very boring...

Matt Arroyo Vs. Dan Cramer (Welterweight)
Matt ended up eating punches from the other Matt from TUF (Matt Brown) to loose his last fight by KO.
Dan Cramer... nearly impossible to find any information on him at all. Dan is an ATT fighter who is 3-0, two decisions, one split, and one TKO.
Matt should wipe the floor with Dan... BUT Matt has only won by submission, Dan comes from ATT where you know they are doing some submission training... I still think that Dan has too little experience to come through. Matt by KO first round.

Jake O'Brien Vs. Christian Wellisch (Light Heavyweight)
Jake has dropped his last two by KO first to Andrei Arlovski (did he wake up yet? Fedor seriously scrambled his brains with that right hand) then to Cain Velasquez. Before that Jake looked good beating Heath Herring by decision then knocking out Kristof Midoux.
Christian is coming down in weight after getting knocked out by newcomer Shane Carwin back in May. Cristian is 2-2 in the UFC. His other loss was to Cheick Kongo by KO. He bounced back with a decision win over Anthony Perosh, then caught Scott Junk with a heel hook.
Jake likes to knock people out. Cristian is more well rounded, and boasts a wrestling pedigree. Cristian also works out at AKA, where many good fighters are coming from nowadays. I think that this one is decided on the ground. Christian by RNC second round.

Chris Wilson Vs. John Howard (Welterweight)
Chris is 1-1 in the UFC, beating Steve Bruno by decision after loosing to Jon Fitch by decision. Guy likes his decisions. The word is that Chris trains out of Matt Lindland's (Is Matt awake yet? Belfort nearly killed him with that left hand.)
John "Doomsday" Howard is making his debut in the UFC. He really has not fought any very stiff opposition.
Chris has been there and done that. John makes his debut in the big show against his first real opposition. Should be an easy win for Chris.
Wilson by RNC first round.

Manny Gamburyan Vs. Thiago Tavares (Lightweight)
Manny dropped his last fight by KO to Rob Emmerson. It was a surprise. Manny is tough to submit and works a very solid G&P game.
Thiago Tavares is on thin ice after loosing two in a row first a KO loss to "Handsome" Matt Wiman then he dropped a decision to Kurt Pellegrino. Not good if you want to stay in the UFC.
This should be an interesting fight. Tarvares needs a win badly. Manny needs to get back on track. Styles make fights, and I think that the UFC made this match to get Manny a win over a very impressive looking fighter.
Manny by decision.

Jon Fitch Vs. Akihiro Gono (Welterweight)
Fitch fought very hard in his last outing but was ultimately decimated by GSP. GSP was not able to finish Fitch, but it really was no contest. Fitch is very good on the ground with solid stand up skills.
Gono is another one of Japan's exports that has been doing very well against the Western fighters. He lost his last fight by split decision to Dan Hardy.
This fight should go Jon's way pretty quickly, because, despite how much I like Gono, he is a very one dimensional fighter. If Gono does not go to the ground, he does not win. I very much doubt that Fitch will want to play Gono's one and only game, and why would he? Fitch by KO second round.

Nate Diaz Vs. Clay Guida (Lightweight)
Nate is riding high, going 5-0 in the UFC. His last fight was a very tough split decision win over Josh Neer.
Clay has grown out of his lightweight division gatekeeper role with his last decision win over Mac Danzing. After that, we all have to look at Clay as a potential contender someday.
Wow. This one should be fun. Styles make fights, and stylistically we have Nate Diaz who is cold and methodical. On the other hand you have Clay Guida who is all fire and go. If Nate can keep the fight at his pace he should cut off Guida and finish him on the feet. If not... Clay overwhelms Nate and finishes it with a G&P win. In order to do that, however Clay will have to break Nate's spirit. I just don't see Clay breaking Nate's spirit. Nate by thrid round KO.

Karo Parisyan Vs. Dong Hyun Kim (Welterweight)
Karo was destroyed by Thaigo Alves in his last fight. So much so that Karo has had trouble training because he has been getting panic attacks. Not good.
Kim is now 2-0 in the UFC after knocking Jason Tan out, then taking Matt Brown to a decision. He shows all the qualities of a guy on the way up.
This is a very tough fight for Karo on his first fight back from such a harsh loss. Kim seems to be building in to a powerhouse and is not a great guy to face if you are having panic attacks during training. Kim by decision.

Stephan Bonnar Vs. Jon Jones (Light Heavyweight)
Bonnar is looking very strong after defeating Eric Schafer by KO in his last fight. Bonnar showed he was able to keep the fight standing, and stuff whatever takedowns Schafer threw.
Jones won his last fight, his UFC debut, by decision over IFL vet and new comer Andre Gusmao. Jones is a guy who likes to win standing up with 5 of his 7 wins by KO.
This should be the fight that gets Bonnar's ground game back. It would not make sense for Bonnar to engage Jones on the feet, so I look for Bonnar to take Jones down and end it there. Stephan by Triangle Choke first round.

Lyoto Machida Vs. Thiago Silva (Light Heavyweight)
Machida has beaten every single one of his previous opponents. He knocked out Rich Franklin, and Stephan Bonnar. He choked out Sokoudjou, and beat Tito by decision. Statistically, he has been hit fewer times than anyone else in the UFC. His style is a mixture of several traditional martial arts, and solid BJJ.
Silva has also beaten everybody in his way. He hasn't had a decision win since 2006. His record reads KO, KO, KO, KO, KO, KO, KO, KO, Heel hook, decision, KO, KO. The guy is a wrecking machine. On top of that he is a BJJ black belt.
This will be the fight of the night, or it will put everybody to sleep. Machida has a tendency of being unwilling to engage. If that happens this fight will be three rounds of watching Machida backpedal and Silva advancing. Still I think this fight will finish before the bell. Silva by KO by strikes on the ground second round.

Georges St-Pierre Vs. BJ Penn (Welterweight Championship)
GSP is one of the most complete fighter to have ever stepped in to the UFC octagon. His wrestling is top notch. He can stand and fight with anyone. His ground game is at the top levels of the sport. His only weakness is his head. GSP has a tendency to let his nerves get the better of him, and gets caught.
BJ Penn IS the most complete fighter to have ever stepped in to the UFC octagon. He has fought and won in several different weight classes. His BJJ is second to none in MMA, and his stand up is nearly unstoppable. His weakness is, again, his head. BJ does not like to train very much and tends to get discouraged if he does not put his opponent away in the first or early in the second.
In their first fight, BJ Penn dominated the first round. He broke GSP's nose and cut him under his left eye. Penn's jab was able to sneak through GSP's guard and bust him up horribly. Then BJ gased. That lost him the fight. If BJ comes to the fight in good condition, he should be able to finish GSP late in the second or early third, BUT if he does not, GSP will finish the fight in the forth or fith.
I think that BJ learned his lesson last time, and will be in great condition for this fight. BJ by KO third round.

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