Archive for May, 2011
Monday, May 23rd, 2011
The UFC presents its first show since April’s huge pay-per-view in Toronto. So it’s time we dust off our Sportsnet Radio Fan 590 crystal ball and give predictions on the five main card fights.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (31-8-0) Vs. Matt “The Hammer” Hamill (10-2)
Rohoman: This is an interesting fight for me. While I will never bet against my boy Rampage, I actually think this is a really bad matchup for him.
I’m not saying Rampage will lose or even be in danger, during the fight, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility Hamill goes back to his wrestling base and controls most of this fight.
Hamill is coming off a win over Tito Ortiz, which sounds better than it actually is… while Rampage took out Lyoto Machida in his last fight.
Rampage has beaten a who’s who of MMA legends, like Machida, Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva and Dan Henderson and will no doubt do everything he can to keep this fight standing, with that explosive knockout power in both hands. Don’t sleep on his wrestling as well, as proven in the Hendo fight.
Hamill is riding a five-fight win streak and hasn’t lost since 2008, although his DQ win over Jon Jones technically counts as a W, when it really should have been an L. Hamill’s striking is improving but it isn’t anywhere near the level of Rampage’s. If the Hammer is smart, he will try to get this fight to the ground, but I don’t really see it happening. I’ll take Rampage by KO.
Prediction: Rampage by 2nd rd. (t)ko.
Frank Mir (14-5) Vs. Roy “Big Country” Nelson (15-5)
Rohoman: After contractual problems, Roy Nelson is back in the UFC and ready to rebound from his loss to Junior dos Santos. While Frank Mir is ready to show his BORING fight with Mirko Cro Cop, last October, was a fluke and he’s much more exciting than he showed.
This fight only gets co-main event status because the third fight of the trilogy between Lightweight Champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard was pulled because of injuries to both fighters.
I don’t really care about this fight. Whoever wins isn’t anywhere near a title shot and, realistically, doesn’t have a hope of beating any of the upper echelon heavyweights (Cain Velasquez, dos Santos, Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar). Mir has fantastic ju-jitsu and knockout power. Nelson has KO power also and solid wrestling.
Mir gets the win. I’ll say by boring decision
Prediction: Mir by decision
Stefan Struve (21-4) Vs. Travis Browne (10-0-1)
Rohoman: The UFC is really trying to push Struve as a Heavyweight Contender… and I get it. Any international fighter with slight potential gets the star treatment as the company tries to expand overseas, and at almost 7’0” Struve has that freak-show aspect. He has decent skills. At that height he’s going to have a reach advantage over just about anymore.
Standing across from Struve will be Travis Browne, who stands 6’7” and is undefeated.
I don’t have much hope for this fight either. I’m sure Struve will land a head kick in the first or second round and finish the fight from there.
Prediction: Struve by 1st rd t(k0)
Brian Stann (10-3) Vs. Jorge Santiago (23-8)
Rohoman: Brian Stann is coming off arguably the biggest win of his career with his knockout of Chris Leben in January and has looked great since his drop to 185 pounds. He has the potential to be one of the faces of the UFC, with his history as a Marine and an incredible story of leading his troops out of a crazy battle in Iraq, without a single casualty. He’s like a real like GI Joe, an American hero, and with his recent performances he deserves the spotlight. He originally wanted Wanderlei Silva in this fight, but that didn’t work out, so the UFC tossed him the returning Santiago.
Santiago went 11-1 since his cut from the company back in 06. Five of those wins by knockout and five by submission, so to say he’s on the top of his game is easily an understatement. I’m excited to see Santiago back in the UFC where we can see him really test himself against the top 185 pounders.
I don’t think this fight goes the distance. I’ll be rooting for Stann, but I think Santiago gets his first win, back under the Zuffa umbrella
Prediction: Santiago 3rd rd. submission
Thiago Alves (18-7) Vs. Rick Story (12-3)
Rohoman: This is what I like to call, the litmus test, the UFC loves to give fighters. Rick Story has looked good in his UFC career, he’s 5-1, with five straight wins. But Alves is a tough test, especially since he got on the Dolce Diet and can actually make 170lbs without being completely drained come fight time.
I don’t see Story having a shot in this one and will pick Alved by dominant decision.
Prediction: Alves by decision.
Remember to follow @grohoman590 on Twitter for live tweets during Saturday’s show
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Ontario MMA enthusiasts knew that as soon as mixed martial arts was legalized in this province last August, that they would not only get the chance to see the spectacle that is the UFC, but they’d also get a chance to witness their friends, family and training partners fight in front of them at local events.
These smaller shows also act as springboards for the veterans of the sport, looking to put on a good performance in hopes of making it back to “the big leagues.”
Thursday night the John Labatt Centre in London (known mostly for housing it’s raucous junior hockey fans as the home of the London Knights) will be the site for MMA Live 1.
The main event and co-main event for this card feature those veterans that are looking for that unforgettable performance and a string of wins in hopes of landing with a bigger and better promotion.
The co-main event features Marcus Aurelio, a native of Fortaleza, Brazil and 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been in the fight game since 2002 and has fought in King of the Cage, Pride and the UFC. He’ll be facing Kingston native Cory MacDonald (a local and relative unknown in comparison).
In the main event, Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford (Edmonton, Alberta) was mostly known in the MMA world as the face of MFC (Maximum Fighting Championship) since the beginning of his career back in June 2007. Thursday’s fight in London will be just the third time Ford has fought outside of Edmonton (with one of those fights being in Calgary) and he’s up against probably his biggest test in 17 career fights. His opponent, the always outspoken Karo “The Heat” Parisyan.
The former UFC welterweight is definitely the biggest name on MMA Live 1 and for good reason. He has fought the who’s who in MMA. Not very many fighters can say that they’ve battled against Georges St.Pierre, Nick Diaz, Sean Sherk, Chris Lytle, Matt Serra, Nick Thompson, Shonie Carter, Diego Sanchez, and the list goes on and on…and that was just in a seven year span in the UFC!
I got a chance to speak to the very candid MMA and UFC veteran about his upcoming bout with Ford, how mixed martial arts has changed since he started fighting and being the most well-known face for Judo in the sport.
Thursday, May 12th, 2011
Co-Workers, friends and people on Facebook and Twitter have been asking me, what’s next for Georges St. Pierre after his decision win over Jake Shields at UFC 129, in Toronto.
It’s a tough question to answer, but a question on everyone’s mind, after the Montreal native defended his title for the sixth time, essentially beating all of the top competition in the UFC’s 170 pound division. GSP has not only defeated all of the top guys in that division, he has made it look easy; dominating from bell to bell and making no case for any sort of rematch with any of the fighters.
Sure, an argument can be made for Jon Fitch, should he get past BJ Penn when they inevitably fight later this year (once Fitch is fully healed from shoulder surgery.) Fitch was, probably, the best fight GSP has had since regaining his Welterweight title from Matt Serra. And to be fair Fitch has gone 5-0-1 since losing to GSP… and that run includes wins over Thiago Alves and Paulo Thiago… with the draw coming against BJ. But BJ and Fitch won’t fight until close to the end of the year, at the earliest, and Georges won’t want to wait around until then.
The Canuck has beat Fitch, Alves, Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck X2, BJ Penn and Dan Hardy since losing his title. And anyone else in the UFC’s division is at least two wins away from even getting a sniff at a main event with the top pound for pound fighter in the world.
So who does that leave? Is GSP going to sit idly by until Anderson beats Yushin Okami and the big superfight can happen? Will GSP take time off to train for the Summer Olympics in London, where he has expressed interest in competing in Wrestling? Both of those are possible… but to me, the logical fight is the Superfight… but not with Anderson.
The Strikeforce Welterweight champ seems like a no-brainer opponent, to me, but that comes after Dana White said they would likely hold off on any cross-promotional fights, after Zuffa bought Strikeforce.
But with such an obvious discrepancy in the 170 division, it only makes sense to put Diaz back into the octagon, against the fighter he has been calling out for years.
Diaz was a dominant welterweight in the UFC until the company released him (If you don’t know the story just Google “Diaz Joe Riggs Hospital”). The Cesar Gracie black belt had a tough run in the UFC losing to guys like Sean Sherk (who GSP dominated) and Diego Sanchez, but since his release from the company, he has made the MMA world stand up and take note. He pulled off a gogoplata submission on Takanori Gomi (the then Pride 155lbs champion), which was later overturned because of a positive test for pot… he is riding a 10-fight win streak, with wins over KJ Noons, Paul Daley, Cyborg Santos, “Mach” Sakurai and Frank Shamrock.
His striking is right up there with the best in the Welterweight division and his ground game is top notch. He loves to throw jabs and is constantly keeping fighters at bay with a barrage of strikes, which usually leaves his opponents very bloody.
But with that being said and with Diaz probably being the best possible opponent for GSP… If you’re asking me, GSP takes this down and dominates him from bell to bell for another decision win.
Will it happen? Possibly. Should it happen? Definitely. Would it be exciting? No doubt.
UFC loses two main events
In less than a week, the UFC has seen the main events for two of their next three pay-per-views fall apart, with the most recent being Brock Lesnar pulling out of his June fight with Junior dos Santos because his Diverticulitis has acted back up.
Brock missed over the year after coming down with the disease… and with it showing up again, obvious questions about his overall future in the sport spring to mind.
Hopefully the former Heavyweight Champ can have surgery for the ailment and get back to 100 per cent. But with a Book tour scheduled for the end of the month, one has to wonder just how much rest he will get.
In the meantime, the UFC has promoted Shane Carwin from the co-main event, to the Main Event, taking on the aforementioned dos Santos. Whether a win by Carwin means a title shot is for Dana White and Joe Silva to decide, but one thing is for certain… this will be a slugfest… and will probably not make it out of the first round.
Well wishes also go out to Lightweight Champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, who both pulled out of their May 28th main event fight with various injuries – Edgar broke some ribs and has bulging discs in his back, while reports said Maynard had blown out his knee.
The injuries mean the two will have their third fight later in the year, and the UFC will go with “Rampage” Jackson taking on Matt Hammil, as the main event for the show in a couple of weeks.
Speaking of that show, remember to follow @grohoman590 on twitter for live tweets during the show… including my thoughts on the fights and how I have scored them.
Friday, May 6th, 2011
If you’re an MMA fan and a collector of memorabilia, like me, then you have no doubt seen, heard of or bought an action figure made by Round5 MMA.
The Canadian company has become the favourite for UFC action figures, putting out a bunch of lines, with figures ranging from Brock Lesnar, to Rampage Jackson, to Dana White, to John McCarthy to even Gina Carano.
Their next series is about to hit store shelves, featuring current Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones, as well as possible future Lightweight champ Gray Maynard.
I recently got the chance to speak with the President of Round5, Damon Lau about working with the UFC and some of the Limited Edition figures coming soon.
Remember to follow me at grohoman590 for the latest in MMA news.