Archive for January, 2012

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Combat Sports

Fight is coming Up! Have you made your predictions?

THE CLINCH REPORT

Nick Diaz versus Carlos Condit for the interim Welterweight Title,  is almost here. Waiting, and watching is Georges St. Pierre as he rehabs following successful ACL surgery. Once healed, St Pierre will fight the winner of Saturday’s bout to unify the UFC welterweight title, and create the undisputed champion of the 170lbs division.

Carlos Condit, has looked dominate lately, winning his last four fights. Three of which were knockouts of highly ranked fighters (Dan Hardy, Rory MacDonald, Dong Hyun Kim). Condit possesses a unique combination of skills, coupled with a strong jaw. Comfortable on his feet, or on the mat Condit’s ferocious striking can end the fight instantly, and from any position. “The Natural Born Killer”, trains with Greg Jackson in New Mexico, where he has learned the art of defense, counter striking, and fighting a patient smart fight.  His wrestling is superb, and his power translates congruently with stamina. In other words…

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Nick Diaz versus Carlos Condit for the interim Welterweight Title,  is almost here. Waiting, and watching is Georges St. Pierre as he rehabs following successful ACL surgery. Once healed, St Pierre will fight the winner of Saturday’s bout to unify the UFC welterweight title, and create the undisputed champion of the 170lbs division.

Carlos Condit, has looked dominate lately, winning his last four fights. Three of which were knockouts of highly ranked fighters (Dan Hardy, Rory MacDonald, Dong Hyun Kim). Condit possesses a unique combination of skills, coupled with a strong jaw. Comfortable on his feet, or on the mat Condit’s ferocious striking can end the fight instantly, and from any position. “The Natural Born Killer”, trains with Greg Jackson in New Mexico, where he has learned the art of defense, counter striking, and fighting a patient smart fight.  His wrestling is superb, and his power translates congruently with stamina. In other words, he can knock you out in the 1st round, or the the last.

Nick Diaz evokes many emotions from fight fans.  Popularity, was never the goal for the Stockton, California native. Nick Diaz only cares about one thing, winning big fights. The last time we saw Diaz, he thoroughly pounded and out classed a very tough BJ Penn. The win was not a surprise to some, as Diaz is naturally the larger fighter, however the beating he dished out was one BJ Penn has never tasted. Diaz absorbed Penn’s best shots, and used his stamina and boxing skills to just out strike the Hawaiian Legend. Possessing great boxing skills, and a world class jujitsu game, Diaz is one of the most well-rounded fighters in any division.

Analysis:

Both fighters are not afraid to stand fight. The stand-up battle presents a classic style contrast with Condit’s Muay Thai  against Diaz’s precision boxing, and counter punching style. The ground battle offers a equally interesting contrast with Condit’s wrestling against Diaz’s jujitsu. On paper the fight is virtually even. Both fighters are in their prime, and equally hungry to wear the belt.

This is a fight that either corner, could easily win. This fight could be a back and forth 5 round war that will require changing strategy and game-planning. Both Cesar Gracie(Diaz) and Greg Jackson(Condit) will be very vocal in between rounds, instructing on the fly, in order to inspire adaptability.

Prediction:

If Nick Diaz can utilize his boxing, and force Carlos to shoot, he should have the advantage.  Diaz jujitsu is at its best when used as a counter attack to a shoot. His triangles, gogoplatas, and kimuras are extremely strong and can be locked in instantly from many positions.  The first few rounds of this fight will be spent primarily standing, with Diaz maintaining the advantage. Forcing Condit to be overly aggresive, trying to take the fight to the ground. Once there, the fight will end with him tapping, to a submission.

Outcome: Nick Diaz rd 4 submission

Fight Predictions For UFC on FX

Pat Barry (6-4 MMA) vs. Christian Morecraft (7-2 MMA)

Analysis: Both fighters need to perform to keep their jobs. Morecraft will try to utilize his wrestling skills to take advantage of Barry’s known weakness. However, Barry has been working with Brock Lesnar, and Cole Konrad on specifically his wrestling weakness. He will look to keep the fight standing, and look for one of his K-1 knockouts.

Prediction: Barry 2nd rd TKO

Mike Easton (11-1 MMA) vs. Jared Papazian (14-6-1 NC MMA)

Analysis: Papazian is a champion, and has been in a few memorable fights, however this is his first foray in the octagon.  Easton, is a BJJ black belt, who trains with Dominick Cruz regularly on his stand up. He is coming off his debut victory at UFC Versus 6, and will look to welcome the new kid to the block with a quick loss.

Prediction: Easton Dec

Duane Ludwig (29-11 MMA)vs. Josh Neer (32-10-1 MMA)

Analysis: This is going to be the fight of the night. Both fighters are extremely seasoned and ready to make divisional statements. Ludwig, is known for being the holder of the unofficial fastest knockout in history. Neer is known for being equally deadly on his feet or on the ground. It would suit Ludwig to keep the fight standing, where he may possess a slight advantage. Neer will have to survive the big shots, to get inside and take this fight to the ground.

Prediction: Ludwig Dec

Jim Miller (20-3 MMA) vs. Melvin Guillard (40-10-3 MMA)

Analysis: Nothing motivates a fighter more, than losing his status as a contender with derailing loss. Both of these fighters are in that position. An impressive win would reignite the momentum for either one of these fighters, while the loser would certainly move further down the rankings. Jim Miller is a extremely well rounded fighter, his grappling is world class. Guillard is one of the divisions most athletic fighters with explosive striking. His glaring weakness is his suspect ground game. His strikes will take a toll on a opponent with a strong chin, but eventually a savvy  wrestler will penetrate that barrage, enabling the shot. Miller has an exceptional chin, if he can withstand the initial attack he should be able to get the fight to the mat.

Prediction: Miller submission rd 2

Edson Barboza(10-0 MMA) recently solved Terry Etim’s(15-4 MMA) sleeping disorder at UFC 142, by introducing him to heal therapy. Barboza’s spinning heel kick landed squarely across Etim’s jaw, instantly forcing his limp body to fall dramatically. like a fallen tree.
As the crowd watched in shock, the referee dove to protect the unconscious fighter. In his native Brazil, initial shock briefly staved off Barboza’s celebration. However soon, the young fighter was in tears as he celebrated in his native tongue!

The knockout overshadowed a very good performance by Terry Etim. The three rounds leading up to the knockout were very entertaining, and the UFC acknowledged that by awarding the bout “Fight of the Night” honors. For their efforts each fighter was awarded a $65,000 bonus. Barboza, also earned another $65,000 with the flashy “Knockout of the Night” bonus. The payday was by far the young Brazilian’s largest to date. The attention has already put Barboza’s name in mouths of pundits as a possible contender for the 155 lb title.

Barboza has a very rough road ahead, before he can be ready for those expectations. The lightweight division, is by far the UFC’s deepest division, regarding talent. With fighters such as Renan Berao, Donald Cerrone, Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson already underneath champion Frankie Edgar, Barboza’s success is still not assured.

In order to make it to the elite ranks in the lightweight division, Edson Barboza will most likely have to face a fighter such as: Joe Lauzon, Thiago Tavares, Sam Stout, or even Melvin Guillard or Jim Miller. If Barboza can show his striking prowess against fighters of this caliber, then it will be time to start putting expectations on time-lines. Until then, just make sure to tune in for his fights, because they are usually exciting.

UFC 142 Main Card-Main Event Predictions

Featherweight Championship:  José Aldo  vs.  Chad Mendes

Jose Aldo has learned from his last few fights, that his weakness was being exposed. Aldo’s dynamic striking has been complimented this camp with the wrestling skills of Gray Maynard. Knowing that Chad Mendes would be his toughest opponent yet. Coming off of consecutive wins in lackluster performances, Aldo will surely be looking for a decisive win to reignite talks of his pound for pound supremacy.

Chad Mendes is 11-0 as a mixed martial artist, and the Team Alpha Male product is certainly looking to add a strap with his 12th win. Mendes has the advantage of working with Urijah Faber who lost a 5 round decision to Aldo, so he has a good idea what to expect. The key term for a Mendes win, according to fight expert Fred Stein is “Grind”. “Chad needs to take him down, and grind out the win.”

Clinch Report prediction (Going with Fred Stein on this one): Mendes 5 rd Decision (majority)

Middleweight bout:  Vitor Belfort vs.  Anthony Johnson

Vitor Belfort at 185 is a very large fighter, however there are not much larger than Anthony Johnson at that weight class. At 6’2 his reach is very long, and he can touch opponents with power from the outside equally with all four limbs. He has vicious knees and elbows, however he is facing Vitor Belfort.  Belfort has been fighting the best in the world since he was a teenager, there is not much in the MMA game that Belfort has not seen.  He has aggressive power in both hands, and his ferocious striking has made several world class fighters stare at the heavens, prone.

Clinch Report prediction: Anthony Johnson rd 2 TKO