Archive for December, 2011
Friday, December 30th, 2011
If you watch the main event of UFC 141 you will see some major Canadian content in the main event. Alistair Overeem who takes on Brock Lesnar, will be rockin’ a Hayabusa walk-out t-shirt and shorts.
I caught up with the co-owner of the Kingston, Ontario based company to chat about a new sponsorship deal with “The Reem” as well as some new products and a big deal with top Canadian retailers.
Monday, December 26th, 2011
After a busy December which saw me cover UFC 140 from the Air Canada Centre, as well as bring Dana White in studio at Sportsnet 590 The Fan, and cover off the weigh-ins, open workouts and wrap up a number of interviews with guys like Jon Jones, Mark Hominick, Claude Patrick, Mark Bocek and others, I am back, to try a redeem myself in my predictions.
I went 1/5 in my UFC 139 predictions, but have to admit, I’ve never been happier about being wrong than I was when Wanderlei Silva knocked out Cung Le.
This card is a little underwhelming, especially for a year-end show (typically one of the biggest shows of the year) but the main event makes up for it, with Alistair Overeem finally making his octagon debut.
Brock Lesnar (5-2) vs. Alistair Overeem (35-11)
This is a heavyweight fight that has all hardcore MMA fans drooling.
Finally, Overeem is in the UFC and we can see what he can do against the top heavyweight fighters in the world.
And what a way to make his debut… against former Heavyweight Champ, Brock Lesnar.
We haven’t seen Lesnar in almost a year and a half after more health issues, but he says he is 100% and ready to make a run at his title again.
Overeem has probably the heaviest hands in the entire Heavyweight division. He’s knocked out Todd Duffee, Brett Rogers and Kazuyuki Fujita… part of his current 10 fight unbeaten streak. BUT the knock against Overeem has always been his inability to pull off wins against top competition. He’s lost to guys like Chuck Liddell, “Shogun” Rua, Ricardo Arona, Lil Nog and Fabricio Werdum.
I see this fight going one of two ways.
1) Brock Lesnar comes out charging and gets the takedown, lies on top of Overeem and ground and pounds his way to a win and a title shot against Junior dos Santos.
2) Lesnar can’t get the takedown and he’s forced into a stand up battle with Overeem, where Overeem would pick Lesnar apart, eventually earning a (t)ko win.
I see the first happening more than the second. Brock says he’s healthy and there is no reason to doubt that.
I’m taking Brock.
Prediction: Lesnar by 2nd rd (t)ko
Nate Diaz (14-7) vs. Donald Cerrone (17-3)
So much was made about Jon Jones year, and with good reason. The Light-Heavyweight champ went 4 and 0 in 2011, beating four top-10 opponents. But how many people realize this will be Cerrone’s FIFTH fight this year.
He’s 4 and 0 so far this year, and a win over Diaz could move him in line for a title shot against the winner of Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson.
Diaz looked fantastic in his return to 155lbs, with a dominant win over Takanori Gomi. This is the division he belongs in.
Both these guys are great fighters. If Diaz head is in the right place I think it’s his fight to lose. But he has to be careful of Cerrone’s ground game, if that’s his plat heading into the event.
I’ll still take Diaz by decision
Prediction: Diaz by Split decision
Jon Fitch (23-3-1) vs. Johny Hendricks (11-1)
Jon Fitch finally makes his return to the UFC in this matchup.
He haven’t seen Fitch since his draw with BJ Penn in February, because of various injuries. He’s a beat of a fighter – probably number two in the 170lbs division with all do respect to Nick Diaz.
The problem with Fitch is, he’s not the exciting fighter the fans like, and because of that the UFC has hesitated in giving him a second title shot against GSP.
Hendricks has solid wins in the UFC, over guys like Amir Sadollah, Charlie Brennemen and Mike Pierce, but he’s not on the level of Fitch and I expect a dominant wrestling clinic to be displayed.
Prediction: Fitch by decision
Alexander Gustafsson (12-1) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5)
Another nice test for Gustafsson, who many have pegged as one of the top prospects in the 205lbs division. “The Mauler” looked great in retiring Matt Hamill from MMA and also has wins over top fighters like Cyrille Diabate and James Te Huna. But he has a tough task with “The Janitor” across the cage from him.
Matyushenko has been around for a long time, but hasn’t really showed any signs of slowing down, with a KO win over Jason Brilz, back in April, and his only loss since 2009 coming at the hands of Jon Jones.
Gustafsson’s hands should be the difference if he stays disciplined. But if he comes out swinging wildly, Matyushenko has the ability to counter and knock him out.
I’ll still take The Mauler to win.
Prediction: Gustafsson by 2nrd rd (t)ko
Jim Hettes (9-0) vs. Nam Phan (17-9)
I don’t know a lot about Jim Hettes. I know he’s undefeated. I know he tapped out Bruce Leroy, back in August and I know that ALL nine of his wins have come by submission.
Nam Phan is one of the most exciting fighters in the 145lbs division, as showcased in his two battles with Leonard Garcia.
This will likely be a case of the striker versus the grappler. Much like the main event, Phan will want to keep this fight standing. Hettes will want it on the canvas.
The takedown will come and I’m sure he will submit Phan.
Prediction: Hettes by 3rd rd Submission
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