|01-15-2009, 08:44 PM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Rep Power: 12
BK presents UFC 93 PREVIEW
The UFC starts the year in the Emerald Isle with big match-ups and the promise of some serious action. Here's the BK preview for you to enjoy.
(Remember the BK Pick'ems contest here.)
Rich Franklin (24-3) vs. Dan Henderson (23-7)
Back in 2005, Rich Franklin was the UFC Middleweight Champion while across the Pacific, Dan Henderson took the Pride Welterweight (same weight, different name) Tournament and were everyone's MW #1 & #2. The great debate was over who was #1. This was a much touted bout a few years ago before the dominant era of Anderson Silva. Well 4 years later, the belts are gone, the weight is now 205lbs and much of the lustre has been lost. Now the two former champions battle to be the TUF 9 coach opposite Michael Bisping at 185lbs, a job neither man seems to particularly want for understandable reasons.
But enough of that. It's still an intriguing match-up and full of technical promise. Franklin has amongst the best stand-up among 'non-strikers.' This jab is crisp, his accuracy is good and his Muay Thai is proficient. The liver kick to Hamill still makes you wince. His BJJ, tutored by Jorge Gurgel is consistent with Franklin's hard-working nature and focus. Franklin always arrives in great physical conditioning.
2-time Olympian Dan Henderson first fought in the UFC in 1998 before making his name in Pride in Japan defeating the legends like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Murilo Bustamente. After the takeover of DSE by Zuffa, Henderson arrived in the UFC as LHW champion after sensationally defeating Wanderlei Silva at the penultimate Pride show. Henderson's wrestling is his strength but he has excellent defensive BJJ and good if rough stand-up skills. He too is consistently in shape.
Obviously Henderson has the wrestling advantage and should be able to secure the takedowns in the clinch. Once on the mat, the fight will stalemate somewhat. Henderson is no great ground and pounder and won't be looking for the submission but Franklin won't catch him either. But Henderson will control Franklin fairly easily and work ponderously. Once back standing, Franklin will work the jab while Henderson looks to set up his right hand and work the low kicks. The fight will continue on like this for the 3 rounds with Franklin unable to land the decisive blows and Henderson using his wrestling when needing to control the fight. Henderson by decision.
Mark Coleman (15-8) vs. Maurico Rua (16-3)
It seems like yesterday when Maurico 'Shogun' Rua announced his arrival by beating 3 top 10 fighters in Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Quinton Jackson and Ricardo Arona to claim the epic Pride MW tournament. It was a phenomenal year and earned Rua the Fighter of the Year accolade. Rua's potent mix of wrestling, BJJ, active stand-up and sheer intensity made him heir-apparent to Chute Boxe team-mate Wanderlei Silva.
But that was back in 2005. The collapse of Pride and the successive knee injuries held back Rua's progress in the last few years. His surprising loss to Forrest Griffin in 2007 concerned followers of the great talent. Clearly injury was hampering him but I was still impressed in some ways by his performance.
Ground and Pound pioneer Mark Coleman is a legend of early UFC shows. Using his exceptional wrestling pedigree, he battered his way to the UFC 10 & 11 Tournament wins before his tactics started to unravel. He came back to win the Pride Open Weight Tournament in 2000 but has struggled since, often getting taken apart by some of the world's elite heavyweights. Now at the age of 44 and over 2 years since his last fight, Coleman steps back in the cage after 10 years for his last run in the UFC.
To add a little spice to this bout, this is actually a rematch. The two fought at Pride 31 when Shogun's elbow proved anything but unbreakable after a Coleman takedown. Clearly hyped (and possibly unaware of the injury), Coleman tried to continue punishing Shogun even as the referee hauled him off. This set up the much under-rated team royal rumble, this time between Hammerhouse and Chute Boxe, led by Wanderlei Silva.
Both guys need the win in this light-heavyweight match-up. Coleman has promised to vary his strategy and let his hands flow once the lights go down but we have heard this before and it simply isn't to his advantage. He will likely score an early takedown and work on Rua from guard but Shogun has a tight guard and should be able to get his fight back standing where he will hurt Coleman. Coleman will look for his traditional dazed takedown but Shogun will stuff it and the referee will save a battered and confused Coleman near the end of the first round.
Denis Kang (31-10) vs. Alan Belcher (13-5)
Denis Kang's entrance into the UFC injects a little spunk into a static UFC MW division dominated by the great Anderson Silva. Still not quite reaching his potential, Kang has suffered some confidence - rattling losses of late, getting out-worked by Misaki, brutal KO'd by Akiyama and easily submitted by Mousasi. His career is at a crossroads. He needs the win.
Denis Kang needs a win on his debut.
Like Kang, Alan Belcher needs to put on an impressive show. His 4-3 record involves numerous last minute replacement fights and holds wins over the likes of Ed Herman and Kalib 'Marathon Man' Starnes. A solid stand-up fighter with decent ground skills, Belcher represents a challenge for Kang but the Canadian should be able to use his superior skills and experience to control the fight and win clear decision.
Rousimar Palhares (8-2) vs. Jeremy Horn (80-18-5)
Murilo Bustamente Black Belt Rousimar Palhares is 1-1 in the UFC having recently lost a decision to top middleweight Dan Henderson. Previous to that, his submission win over Ivan Salaverry not only retired the former top10 fighter but earned submission of the year acclaim.
To call Jeremy Horn a veteran is to play down his career but his 103 fight career appears to be on the wind-down. Since his 2005 title shot against Chuck Liddell, Horn has gone 4-4. Always competitive, his freestyle jiu-jitsu seems to have run its course. His 4 losses are all against serious names in the sport including 3 top 10 MWs in Marquardt, Lindland and Santiago but he is getting caught earlier. This is maybe Horn's last chance in the big leagues.
Neither man has special stand-up, preferring to get the fight onto the mat. Palhares will have a clear advantage and should be able to convert his technical superiority into a submission win in the first.
Marcus Davis (15-4) vs Chris Lytle (26-16)
Also billed as: Irish-American former boxer who took up the sport while running a bar vs full-time Indianapolis Fire Department Firefighter (with a Scottish name) slug it out in a cage in Dublin. It's a true tale. Tom Cruise isn't in this one.
Marcus Davis aka The Irish Hand Grenade is 7-1 now in the UFC. Despite his mysterious nickname, the ex-TUF's greatest weapon has been his solid combinations followed up by decent submissions. Lytle's record looks mixed but his recent level of competition includes Josh Koscheck, Thiago Alves and Matt Hughes. Those tough losses and battling wins over the likes of Paul Taylor and Matt Brown support Lytle's reputation as the gatekeeper in the UFC Welterweight division as well making him a very popular figure in the UFC.
Davis has solid stand-up and a good submission game.
Davis needs to get past Lytle to secure his place in the upper echelons of the division. He talks like he just wants to fight, not caring for his career but no one takes that seriously. The stand-up war will be absorbing but Davis is more savvy and seek to engage on his terms. Lytle can give and take serious punishment as shown in one of the fights of the 2008 with Paul Taylor but there comes a time when the accumulated punishment will take it's toll. Look for a more clinical Davis to takedown Lytle and stop him in the third after a titanic and technical war. It will be fun, honest and straight. No fairytale, Tom.
Martin Kampmann (13-2) vs. Alexandre Barros (13-5)
This is Martin Kampmann's first taste of 170 after his disappointing quick loss to Nate Marquardt at UFC 88 in September 2008. Previously the Dane had worked his way up through European competition before entering the UFC and comfortably defeating talented fighters like Thales Leites and Jorge Rivera. Now he'll have to keep to his high standards to stay afloat at welterweight.
Barros is a slight unknown from Rio de Janeiro but stayed 3 rounds with Matt Hughes, Aaron Riley and Dave Strasser back in 2002. His hands are light but he is clearly durable and tough. Kampmann is a helluva step up for him. While it's difficult to dismiss 'unknown Brazilians' after recently seeing Dos Santos demolish Fabricio Werdum, Kampmann takes his job professionally and will seek to put his name in the hat at WW. His grappling and Muay Thai belts highlight a roundedness that Barros will be unable to handle. Round 1 KO.
Ivan Serati (10-2) vs. Thomasz Drwal (14-2)
This LHW battle should be exciting, clinical and brutal. Drwal is a Polish brute with the gamesmanship of fellow Pole Andrew Golota. Pulled back off the shelf 16 months after his last UFC outing against Thiago Silva, that fight fit the old sexist adage; good from far. Far from good. Serati is an Italian scrapper with such a moderate record and skills, he must be on the card to match the UFC seat filling theory of 'those Europeans would rather see some average fighters of their own rather than high quality fighters from around the globe'. (I suspect the thinking is also tainted by the 'they'll work like 19th century orphans.')
Expect Drwal to start fast and land heavy. Expect Serati to feel out-of-his-depth and look for the takedowns. Drwal will work out of it and continue the punishment standing until Serati is saved by the referee midway through the first round.
Tom Egan (3-0) vs. John Hathaway (9-0)
I don't know much about 20 year-old Tom Egan. His 3-0 record tells us little except that he likes to throw his hands and is so far successful at it. John Hathaway comes into this welterweight fight full of promise. He ends his fights on the mat, working methodically to pound out the win. Coming through the Cage Rage Contenders ranks untroubled is a clear indicator of his talent. He has come a long way in two years and will continue his progress here. If he can avoid Egan's early combinations, Hathaway should get this fight to the mat, work position and score enough damage on novice Egan to keep the locals jeering the English. First round stoppage win for Hathaway.
Nate Mohr (9-5) vs. Dennis Siver (11-6)
German Dennis Siver is 1-3 in the UFC, his only win coming in a war with Naoyuki Kotani at UFC 75. His losses have been tough; out-struck by Guillard, out-wrestled by Maynard and subbed by Laudin. He needs the win. Nate Mohr also needs to up his game to keep his spot. Despite being trained under Jeff Curran, Mohr's striking is confused and his submission game has let him down over and over game with quick losses in the UFC to Kurt Pellegrino and Manny Gamburyan. It's unlikely to change here. Siver is the superior striker and will land at ease before winning in the first by KO or RNC. At least it's not the ankles again.
Eric Schafer (10-3-2) vs. Antonio Mendes (15-3)
BJJ Black Belt Eric Schafer made an impressive return on UFC in September 2008, choking out striker Houston Alexander in the first round. Brazilian Antonio Mendes also impressed knocking top 10 LHW Thiago Silva around for a few minutes until Silva took control to batter out the stoppage. This opening battle of styles should excite those in the arena early. Mendes will look to impose his aggressive stand-up on a fragile Schafer who got KO'd by Bisping a few years ago. If Schafer can get the fight to the mat, his superior BJJ should get him the sub win. Look for Schafer to win by submission in round two.
Scribed while playing DDR by Dan 'chuck' Adams.
Pick'em contest reminder!!
Discuss this card here
Last edited by BK NEWS : 01-28-2009 at 01:29 AM.