Posts Tagged ‘Demian Maia’

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Champions emerge, by a culling of the common. A lone figure atop a mountain of vanquished demons. The UFC 194 main card exemplifies these laws of natural selection. A historic event with epochal implications. Simply put, if you are going to buy a combat sports PPV this year this is your huckleberry!

When Conor Mcgregor began his meteoric climb through he UFC rankings it became obvious that a matchup with Jose Aldo would be down the line. Once the fight was signed the hype train was derailed by an Aldo rib injury. Forcing McGregor to fight for the interim belt against divisional stalwart Chad Mendes, who he picked apart methodically. Now that Aldo has healed the fight appears inevitable, just days away and the excitement level could not be higher. Both fighters have fight ending-one punch power and can win in a host of different ways. The odds may determine a favorite but in actuality this fight is an absolute toss up!

The hype generated by this matchup alone is leaving some of the Hollywood elite without ticket options. When you add in the fact that the Weidman vs Rockhold middleweight title fight is the chaser for the featherweight shot on the marquee, you might want to consider a cab ride home.

The co main event might end up being the best fight on the card. Chris Weidman has been dominate since rising to the top of the middleweight division. Unblemished, his win over Vitor Belfort in May proved his durability as he withstood Belforts best punches before slamming him to the mat and swarming him for the finish. His opponent challenger Luke Rockhold may be his toughest test to date. Rockhold possesses a unique blend of speed and athleticism that translate well to all areas inside the cage, and his speed and length may prove to be a nuisance for the champion. Another even matchup that only odds makers could fine a margin of advantage.

Also on the card is a middleweight showdown between Yoel Romero and ‘Jacare’ Souza. The classic matchup of wrestler vs jiujitsu will be on display in this fight that will most likely decide the next title contender. Neither fighter has tasted defeat in quite some time, and when you add in the title implications this fight could be a closely contested battle that goes into deep waters. Standing both fighters have advantages, with Romero the stronger of the two fighters he will have a power advantage. However ‘Jacare’s’ ever evolving standup game with grant him with a significant technique advantage. Another very close contest on paper, that will produce a future contender.

Featherweights Max Holloway and Jeremy Stephens will face off in yet another intriguing battle. Both fighters are at a similar junctions in the title picture, teetering on earning a top 5 ranking. If either fighter is going to become a legitimate contender the time is now, and this fight will solidify that claim. Holloway is riding a 7 fight win streak since his decision loss to Conor McGregor, a run that showcased victories over Cub Swanson and Charles Olivera. In his way is one tough son of gun, Jeremy ‘Lil Heathen’ Stephens. Owner of some of the most powerful punches in the division, Stephens is coming of a big win over Dennis Bermudez and is also at the point where he needs to make some noise. At 29 and with alternating wins and losses, this is a huge opportunity for Stephens to steal some thunder by landing some lighting.

Rounding out the main card is welterweight fight that will also have title implications, featuring two grappling wizards. Both Gunnar Nelson and Demian Maia are absolute masters on the mat. Maia having a career resurgence at 170 lbs has been on a roll (pun absolutely intended) since finding a new weight class.  Outside of his close decision losses to Rory McDonald and Jake Shields, Maia has been nothing short of a menace inside the octagon. Fresh off a dominant win over Neil Magny, the Brazilian submission expert is yet again on the verge of another title shot. His opponent Gunnar Nelson will neutralize much of the ground advantage that Maia is used to enjoying over his opponents which could lure him into a slugfest. A grappling expert himself, Nelson also has some accurate hands. Should a toe-to-toe slugfest emerge, Nelson should maintain a significant striking advantage. However with those little gloves anyones lights can go out at anytime, so don’t blink.

However the card ends up, whoever wins, only time will reveal. Two champions will emerge but so too will claim staking contenders nipping at those champions heels. For in MMA you can only celebrate for as long as the champaign stays cold. Once those grapes go stale, the culling will continue. This card not only serves a holiday feast for fight fans, it also sets the table for the next banquet.

NOTE: Urijah Faber will take on Frankie Saenz in a must see fight on the undercard. Also Jocelyn Lybarger will be making her promotional debut against American Top Teams Tecia Torres. This is another promising fight that could produce entertaining results.

Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor For UFC Featherweight Title
Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold For UFC Middleweight Title
Yoel Romero vs. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza
Max Holloway vs. Jeremy Stephens
Demian Maia vs. Gunnar Nelson
UNDERCARD
Marcio Alexandre Jr. vs. Court McGee
Warlley Alves vs. Colby Covington
Kevin Lee vs. Leonardo Santos
Magomed Mustafaev vs. Joe Proctor
Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Saenz
John Makdessi vs. Yancy Medeiros
Jocelyn Lybarger vs. Tecia Torres

By: Jonathan King ‘The Clinch Report’

Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann (women’s bantamweight championship)

Daniel Cormier vs. Patrick Cummins

Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia

Mike Pyle vs. T.J. Waldburger

Robert Whittaker vs. Stephen Thompson

The UFC 170 fight card lost some of its appeal when co main event fighter Rashad Evans was injured in training, leaving Daniel Cormier without an opponent for his 205 lbs debut. Frantically the UFC scrambled to find a fighter, and decided on Patrick Cummins who is only 4-0 as a professional.  With other fighters refusing to fight on short notice, the UFC was left grasping to an aged story line, that had Cummins “breaking” Cormier in a training session while he was preparing for the Olympics.

No matter how much hype they try to build, the fight on paper is nothing more than filler. Cormier should have no problem dispatching Cummins, however I would not be surprised by a lack luster fight from both. Cormier is dealing with a heavy weight cut, and Cummins has never fought on such a big  stage. Cummins could shock the world, the stage is set for it, however I dont see that happening! Cormier via TKO

The real story is the Rousey vs. McMann fight. A stylistic match up that intrigues most fight fans. The Olympic Judoka vs the Olympic Wrestler. Both fighters received medals in their respected sports, as Olympians, both are undefeated, and the talent both possess as mixed martial artists has grown exponentially.  Although this fight may become a grappling match, it will certainly be a chess match of epic proportions. This fight may actually be won in the corner. In other words, the fighter that can adjust best on the fly may have the advantage. Both woman should have their moments, however Ronda can end it in a moment, so I have the Champion! Rousey via Submission.

Rory MacDonald v Demian Maia could go a long way as to define the next 170 lbs contenders. MacDonald is coming off a lackluster loss to Robbie Lawler, and Maia as well was out grappled by Jake Shields in another fight that lacked much excitement. So both have something to prove to the UFC brass. You can expect Maia to look for the take down, and you can expect MacDonald to try to avoid it at all costs! Mac Donald’s take down defense may be the difference. If  he can keep it standing, he should be able to land the decisive blow. MacDonald via TKO.

Pyle v Waldburger Should be a very entertaining fight, our candidate for FOTN (other than Rousey v McMann). Both fighters are in need of wins, to re establish themselves in the division, and both are coming off KO losses. Pyle has the experience,and its tough to bet against it, in this case! Pyle via decision.

Robert Whitaker and Stephen Thompson could be another barn burner. Although Whittaker does have an extensive submission pedigree he does like to stand and trade. That is exactly what Thompson wants to do. Thompson is one of the best kick boxers in the UFC, and if he can avoid the grasp of Whitaker he should be able to put on a striking display. Thompson via TKO.

UFC 162 is set to take place Saturday Night in Las Vegas. The main card is stacked with a talent pool that all but guarantees one of the most exciting nights of mixed martial arts ever.  With a few lack luster cards in recent history, the company is betting this card will reverse that trend.

The main card is headlined by two champions, one current and one former. Both fighting to cement their respective legacies. Frankie Edgar is attempting to come back after losing his last three fights, all title fights, and in the eyes of many, he was robbed of victory not once or twice but in every fight. For the first time in years Edgar will fight in a 3 round non title bout.

Anderson Silva is the other legend fighting in the main event. I don’t think anyone would argue if you called him the greatest mixed martial arts in the history of the sport. Since joining the UFC middleweight division, Silva has rattled off 16 consecutive victories and has defended the title against all comers, including Chael Sonnen twice. Although age is creeping up on the champion, he never seems to show any cracks on fight night.

Both Charles Oliveira and Chris Weidman have been touted as the future of the sport since they began landing leather in the octagon. Oliveira started his career off strong, but has since run into a few speed bumps. However, his talent has never been in question and his pedigree certainly merits caution.

Chris Weidman, on the other hand has never lost. In fact, rarely has he even been in trouble. Weidman introduced himself as a title contender loudly with a standing elbow KO of Mark Munoz that put the entire division on alert. Like Sonnen, (the only man to ever have any measure of success against Silva in the UFC) Weidman possesses and incredible wrestling game and could stymie the striking of Silva by smothering him. However unlike Sonnen, Weidman is also a high level striker. Which creates other challenges for the champion. Many UFC fighters and professionals are picking Weidman.

 

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson

This is an interesting match up, in the very cluttered 145 lbs division. I don’t believe the winner will get a title shot, but he will definitely be on a short list of contenders. Siver is ridiculously strong at this weight, the former 170 lbs fighter utilizes and assortment of strikes, but his best asset may be his ability to absorb punishment. Cub Swanson is one of the most dynamic strikers in all of MMA, and has been on a tear since his loss to Ricardo Lamas. Swanson will need to avoid the kicks of Siver, and bring the fight into his kitchen. The only way this fight is going to the ground, is if Siver has no other choice but to take Swanson down. Speed is going to be the difference. Winner Swanson via UD rd 3
Tim Boetsch vs. Mark Munoz

Both fighters need victories if they have any ideas at making a title run. Munoz hasn’t fought in quite some time, but his training has been well documented and he looks to be in amazing shape. Tim Boetsch may not be the most exciting fighter to watch, but he gets the job done. A true grinder, Boetsch is known for winning wars of attrition, however this will not be one of those fights. Winner Munoz via TKO rd 2
Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy

Both fighters will be making their promotional debuts, after being folded into the mix when the now defunct Strikeforce promotion closed its doors. Gracie will need to utilize his submission game to control the fight. Kennedy although not primarily known as a striker, will hold a decisive advantage in this department. Kennedy does not want to try his luck inside the guard of a Gracie! Winner Kennedy via TKO rd 1

Co Main Event
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira

Frankie Edgar has single handily ruined fight journalism. There are no more ways to describe him. Every pun, or analogy has been used and abused. So I will spare you any more Rocky references. However, the guy is not a character he is a real fighter. Edgar’s chin and ability to take and give punishment simultaneously is Gatti-esque. His fights with Gray Maynard, Benson Henderson, and Jose Aldo are three of the best fights I have ever seen!

Oliveira is the young gun. At 23 he has already accomplished so much inside the cage. His muay thai has improved tremendously, and has removed him from the ranks of the one trick pony fighters. But his former one trick, his jujitsu, may be the absolute best in the division. This fight is being billed as David vs Golliath, with Edgar being billed as David. I disagree, Oliveira is David, and unfortunately for him, this time Golliath wins! Winner Edgar via TKO rd 3

Main Event

Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman – for middleweight title

Many professionals and fight aficionados are picking Weidman to win this fight. On paper, his style is an absolute nightmare for a guy like Silva. Weidman is young, strong as an ox, and he has an entire workshop of tools that he can use. His striking left Mark Munoz and Uriah Hall in a heap, he has submitted Tom Lawler, and in his fight against Demian Maia he proved he could avoid the submission game, in order to grind out a victory. The man has won in every conceivable way, at every level he has competed on. However, he is fighting a man that has never lost in the UFC, in 16 fights.

Anderson Silva is not only the baddest man alive, he is an artist inside that cage. He paints the bloodiest of canvases, with the precision of a surgeon. He is coy, sometimes arrogant in the cage. Often times, he plays possum and lures his opponents into a false sense of success only to break them in an instance. However at times has also looked aloof when his competition, refused to engage or laid prone in hopes of inducing the grind. Chris Weidman will offer no such luxury for Silva. He will bring the fight from the opening bell, and will be in the champions face from the onset. However, how long he remains there is the question. Unlike many of the professionals that are picking Weidman, I am picking Silva. Why? I have 16 reasons! Winner Silva via Submission rd 3

by: Jonathan King

JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS IAN MCCALL
 
This fight is an interesting match up. Both fighters can stake a claim for a title shot against champion Demetrious Johnson with a decisive win. Benavidez is as strong as they come in the 125 lbs weight division. His wrestling maybe the best in the division. Ian McCall brings a very dynamic striking game to the table. McCall is 0-1-1 against the current champion. Benevidez will need to avoid McCall’s counter punching to secure a take down. If he is able to bring the fight to the mat, he may be able to secure the win. McCall will need to utilize his wrestling defense, to avoid any take downs. However, if he does get put on his back McCall will need to stay active from the bottom as he has in the past. Both fighters bring a contrasting style that should provide great entertainment.
 
Prediction: Joseph Benavidez Unanimous Decision.
 
JON FITCH  VS DEMIAN MAIA
 
Very often we hear the term “Grinder” when referring to a fighters style. No one exemplifies that label better than Jon Fitch. Fitch has been a contender at the 170lbs division for nearly a decade. His wrestling and conditioning, have become legendary. He has wins over some of the biggest names in the sport, and has even gone the distance with Georges St Pierre. His only sign of weakness came by way of a  flash KO at the hands of Johnny Hendricks. Demian Maia is also known as a legend. His grappling and jujitsu game may be one of the most feared in the sport. At 185 lbs, Maia was out gunned by stronger fighters. Now comfortable at 170 lbs, Maia’s power increase will only serve to strengthen his grappling. 
 
Prediction: Jon Fitch Unanimous Decision
 
ALISTAIR OVEREEM VS ANTONIO SILVA
 
In his first fight after being suspended for having testosterone in his system, Alistair Overeem is already looking for a title shot. Unfortunately for him, standing in his way is another mountain sized heavyweight named Antonio Silva. Silva is coming off a dominating win over Travis Browne, and feels that Overeem is disrespecting him.  With a long history of animosity between the two fighters, stemming from their camp decisions (Silva left the Blackzilians and rejoined American Top Team once Overeem signed on with the camp) there should be no shortage of heavy exchanges. Overeem will hold a clear advantage in the striking department, while Silva will have an edge if the fight goes to the ground. Both fighters have extremely heavy hands, and are capable of knocking the other out. 
 
Prediction: Alistair Overeem via TKO
 
RASHAD EVANS VS ROGERIO NOGUEIRA
 
Rashad Evans may be the most talented fighter in the UFC without a belt. His wrestling background, and versatile striking have kept Evans at the top of the division, since his brief reign as champion. He will need to utilize his excellent head movement to counter the tremendous boxing skills of Rogerio Nogueira. “Lil Nog” (as he is known) for a long time has been over looked in 205 lbs division. Known for his precision boxing skills Nogueira like his brother is also deadly on the ground. If he is able to stagger Evans, or somehow able to drag him to the mat, he will have a distinct advantage. As dynamic as his boxing is, Evans will still have an advantage on his feet through sheer athleticism alone. Evans will look to land effectively at distance, setting up his own take downs in order win the fight. However, if he is too aggressive in Nogueira’s guard, he could very easily get caught in a submission. 
 
Prediction: Rashad Evans via 2nd rd TKO
 
MAIN EVENT FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT
 
FRANKIE EDGAR V JOSE ALDO (CHAMPION)
 
Jose Aldo is one of the most dynamic fighters in any weight class. His combination of speed and technique have laid waste to an all star cast of opponents. His reign at the top, has never been challenged and his name is very often mentioned at the top of the pound for pound rankings. Frankie Edgar embodies the dark horse spirit. His history of exciting fights, and come from behind win seem to be from the pages of a Hollywood script. Edgar’s chin and ability to recover may be his best attribute in a very crowded quiver of mma weapons. If Edgar is able to close the distance and grab a hold of Aldo he might be able to slow the pace and grind on the champion. Both fighters are no strangers to late rounds, and both can take a punch so look for this fight to head into deep water. However, lets not forget one very important wild card in this fight, the referee. Steve Mazzagatti could play a role in a questionable stoppage!
 
Prediction: Frankie Edgar via Split Decision
 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Anderson Silva (32-4 MMA, 15-0 UFC) vs. Stephan Bonnar (14-7 MMA, 8-6 UFC) 

As a replacement bout, this fight is very lopsided in most fans eyes. However, Stephan Bonnar is not a piece of cardboard. He will be entering the fight with a considerable size advantage, and of course his notoriously iron clad chin. On the ground Bonnar is more than capable and would actually rival Silva’s pedigree. But let’s be honest, odds are this fight is going to be a standing war. Although giving away considerable size, Silva will maintain an advantage in every single aspect of the stand-up battle. Using his notorious feigns he will lure in the aggressive Bonnar eventually overwhelming the slower larger fighter.

Prediction:Anderson Silva via 2nd RD TKO

Dave Herman (21-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC)

This us a fight I call the Enigma v The Old Man. Dave Herman, has some of the best athleticism in the weight class, however Herman has yet to put together a consistent effort since joining the UFC. His losses to Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve prove that he is at best at the tail end of the Heavyweight rankings. Its vexing because he should be a lot better than he is!  Coming into Brazil, squaring off with ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira will prove to be a mountain he is unable to climb. If Herman can keep the fight standing, he has a small chance, less than a puncher’s chance as Nogueira has better hands. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is an absolute warrior. His history is secure in the sport and although his last fight ended by a kimura that broke his arm, ‘Minotauro’ is still a very dangerous lion.

Prediction: Nogueira via submission Rd 1

Fabio Maldonado (18-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Glover Teixeira (18-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) 

Fabio Maldonado may have the best body punching pedigree in all of the UFC. This guy lifts people off the mat, like something out of a Rocky movie. Maldonado loves to get in tight, and punish the liver with his digging blows. Have lost his last two bouts by decision, Maldonado will be aggressive from the start looking to control the pace early. Glover Teixeira is one of the UFC prodigies. His punching power and aggressiveness are legendary already. Former champions Maurico ‘Shogun’ Rua and Rashad Evans refused short notice fights with Teixeira, even though he has only fought once in the UFC. Trained at the world famous “Pit”, Teixeira has been sparring relentlessly with UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell in preparation for this fight. Could you ask for a better training partner?

Prediction: Teixeira via TKO Rd 2

Jon Fitch (23-4-1 MMA, 13-2-1 UFC)  vs. Erick Silva (14-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC)

In a battle of contrasting styles, this fight depends a lot on who is able to dictate the pace and location of the fight. Erick Silva will have a striking advantage, however his aggressiveness will leave him open to the ‘lay and prey’ style of UFC vet Jon Fitch. Fitch has shown time and time again, that he can maintain dominate position for an entire fight. Although not an incredible Greco-Roman wrestler, his MMA wrestling is outstanding. Fitch has grinded down veterans like BJ Penn (draw), Thiago Alves (twice), and Mike Pierce. However it has been almost a year since his last fight. A fight that saw him knocked unconscious in 12 seconds at the hands of Johnny Hendricks. Can Fitch knock off the ring rust, before Silva knocks his chin off? Silva will have to keep the fight standing, and avoid the grappling of Fitch in order to win this fight.

Prediction: Jon Fitch via Unanimous Decision 

Phil Davis (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC)  vs. Wagner Prado  (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

This fight was supposed to happen months ago, however an errant eye poke by Davis caused a premature stoppage that resulted in a no contest. Now fully healed Wagner Prado is ready to display his striking for the first time in the UFC. He will have his hands full with the outstanding wrestling of Phil Davis. Davis is trying to get his name back into the contender mix, in the very congested light heavyweight division. With a significant reach advantage Davis is going to look too set up his shoot, off his jab. If he is able to get Prado to the ground it will be very difficult for him to escape. Davis  has smothered out victories over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and submitted young gun Alexander Gustaffson. Only Rashad Evans has been able to control Davis thus far, a trend that should continue.

Prediction: Davis via 3rd round submission

Demian Maia (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) vs. Rick Story (14-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC)

Not many people have improved in the striking department as well as Damian Maia. The striking will only get more powerful, as he will now be fighting at 170 lbs. His Jiu Jitsu is well known, and with submissions over Chael Sonnen, Nate Quarry, and Ed Herman he is used to fighting larger opponents. There are not many bigger than Rick Story at 170 lbs. As a wrestler, Story has some of the best skills in the division. However at times he seems to loose focus. At one time he was highly touted, now he seems to be one or two losses away from being released. He has not looked impressive in his last three fights, although he won the last by unanimous decision against an outmatched Brock Jardine. Its only a matter of time before this fight goes to the mat.

Prediction: Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision