Posts Tagged ‘Joe Lauzon’

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

The UFC once again is blazing a new trail for MMA. This time along with media giant FOX, the power couple launched a very MMA-centric channel called Fox Sports 1. The channels debut featured one of the UFC’s best cards of the year, headlined by Chael P. Sonnen vs. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. The packed TD Arena in Boston was shaking with the arrival of fan favorites Joe Lauzon and John Howard, how ever the biggest ‘pop’ of the night came when Conor McGregor made his entrance. The Irish featherweight displayed an extremely versatile striking attack early in the fight, however he injured his knee in the second round and needed to utilize his wrestling to secure the decision win over a very savvy Max Holloway.

The Co Main event was by far the biggest upset of the evening, as Travis ‘Hapo’ Browne came back from a vicious early body attack to knock out Alistair Overeem in the first round of their fight. Browne, was floored from an early knee to the gut, and withstood a relentless assault from Overeem that prompted the ref to warn Browne on several occasions that a stoppage was near. Browne, withstood the barrage and then channeled his inner Anderson Silva and kicked Overeem in the face. The blow floored Overeem, and a few Browne hammer fists erased all doubt.

For Browne, his name is now solidified on a short list of contenders for the title. Maybe a match up against Fabricio Werdum would solidify a #3 contender. Overeem’s future is much cloudier. After being viciously knocked out in his last two fights it may be time for him to take a long vacation from the sport. He is not the type of fighter to hang around on mid card status, so his time in the UFC may be coming to an end. Even if it is not, his brain has been rattled lately it might be in his best interest to take at least a year off!

Following the Browne upset, two legends took to the cage. Less than ten seconds into the fight, one of those legends had already imposed his will. Chael Sonnen was able to get across the cage, grab a hold of ‘Shogun’ Rua, and slam him to the mat in less than 10 seconds. ‘Shogun’ did his best to resist, stood up a few times, and then surprised everyone by taking Sonnen down! However, he wasnt able to hold him, and Sonnen was able to reverse position.

Sonnen blanketed the former champion, refusing to let him up. Utilizing his position, Sonnen was able to secure a guillotine choke at the end of the first round that forced Rua to tap. To ‘Shogun’s credit, he rolled and resisted as long as he could. Sonnen, as Joe Rogan pointed out several times has a deadly guillotine,

Like Overeem, these fighters are not really in any title pictures anymore. However unlike Overeem, neither one of these guys has ever appeared to be “done” fighting. For Sonnen, there is talk of a match between him and Wanderlei Silva. A fight that really has no implications, but its should be a fun fight to watch. For Rua, the loss extinguishes any hope of returning to title contention. He has been in a lot of wars, and I wouldn’t blame him if he did hang up the gloves, but I don’t think he will. Maybe a fight with Bisping would make sense.

Analysis of Debut on Fox Sports 1.1:

First the name sort of makes the numbering of events, well redundant, and unclear (For example this was titled UFC on Fox Sports 1.1). I don’t see how that wasn’t brought up already! Secondly, FOX needs to brand the UFC separately from the NFL. For example Kill the robot, and please destroy the NFL music. I’d rather hear the signature “Bring the Pain”. Also, keep Curt Menefee of the broadcasts. Watching him learn about the sport on the fly, hurts my feelings.

Other than those obvious ticks, I think the UFC and FOX hit a 3-run Triple with this swing. Overall exceeded expectations in my eyes. It is a very exciting time for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, which had been in a recession of late. Hopefully these free public displays will infuse life back into the sport that will trickle down to the regional levels. This way the sport continues to grow, and more importantly continues to feed itself!

 

by: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Derek Brunson (10-2 MMA) WINS via Decision Chris Leben (26-9 MMA)

Recap: Derek Brunson was able to utilize his superior wrestling skills to keep the oft dangerous Chris Leben at bay for the better part of three rounds. Brunson’s smothering grappling prevented Leben from every mounting any significant offensive flurries. The grinding style served Brunson well, as Leben began to show signs of gassing in the first round.

 

Yushin Okami (28-7 MMA) WINS via Decision Alan Belcher (18-8 MMA)

Recap:The second time was not a charm as Alan Belcher fell to Yushin Okami much the way he did the first time. Using his tremendous grappling and size, Okami took a page from the Chael Sonnen book of MMA. For three rounds the most successful Japanese fighter in the history of the UFC  thwarted every effort Belcher made. The loss will keep Okami in contention, and move Belcher out of the very crowded title mix!

Constantinos Philippou (12-2 MMA) Tim Boetsch (16-5 MMA) v

Recap: Tim Boetsch is an absolute warrior. Even though he was injured early on, and nearly blinded by his own blood he never quit coming. Constantinos Philippou threw ever thing he had at the immobile and prone warrior, and eventually in the third round the referee saw enough.  The win catapults Philippou right into title contention alongside fellow Long Islander Chris Weidman, and a few others in the very crowded middleweight division.

Jim Miller (22-4 MMA) WINS via Decsison Joe Lauzon (22-8 MMA)

Recap: This is quite possibly the best fight of the year. Early on Jim Miller utilized an extremely  aggressive offense to land an assortment of strikes to the face of Joe Lauzon as he coiled in response to the repeated assault. In the second round Lauzon seemed to come on strong, until another flurry by Miller had him on the run and covering up. Miller fought off several late slick submission attempts by Lauzon to get the nod unanimously in a very bloody affair!

 

MAIN EVENT

Cain Velasquez (11-1 MMA) WINS via Decision over Junior Dos Santos (15-2 MMA) 

Recap: Cain Velasquez came charging at the man who knocked him out in under a minute last time they fought. This time, the charge last five full rounds. Right from the start the champion was on his heels, as a huge right hand from Velasquez rattled Junior Dos Santos. The punch seemed to leave JDS without his wits for several rounds. Only toward the end of the fourth round did he seem to regain any sort of steam behind his punches. Cain looked tremendous, as he consistently dragged Dos Santos to the mat, wearing him down with consistent pressure, and grinding elbows.

New Champion Cain Velasquez

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Derek Brunson (9-2 MMA)  v Chris Leben (26-8 MMA)

Analysis: Derek Brunson was one of MMA’s brightest young stars, and still is although that star has lost some of its luster. After starting 9-0, the former Strikeforce fighter will make his UFC debut after dropping his last two fights, the first blemishes in a previously unblemished career. In his way is the ferociously reckless Chris Leben, who is returning to the Octagon for the first time since his suspension for testing positive for Oxycontin following his loss to Mark Munoz. He will certainly be looking for redemption against the younger Brunson.

 

Prediction: Leben via 2nd Round TKO

 

Alan Belcher (18-6 MMA) v Yushin Okami (27-7 MMA)

Analysis: Alan Belcher is looking to prove to the world that he is a title contender in the very crowded 185 lbs division. With many other fighters looking to claim rights to the next title shot, a win over Yushin Okami would certainly solidify his claim. Okami is a legend in MMA, and has beat a murders row of fighters with huge names! After back to back losses, that included a title shot loss to Anderson Silva, Okami returned to his winning ways with an impressive win over Buddy Roberts in his last bout. Okami is looking to keep his name in the top tier of middleweights as well.

Prediction: Belcher via Unanimous Decision 

 

Tim Boetsch (16-4 MMA) v Constantinos Philippou (11-2 MMA)

Analysis: Tim Boetsch is coming off his most impressive win thus far in MMA, with his upset decision victory over Hector Lombard. His reward is facing another hard hitting fighter, with very much the same type of skills. Costa Philippou has racked up 4 wins in a row, and is now looking to make a name for himself off of Boetsch’s name. Both fighters have a history of going the distance, so this fight should follow suit.

Prediction: Philippou via Unanimous Decision

 

Jim Miller (21-4 MMA) v Joe Lauzon (22-7 MMA)

Analysis: This fight is an obvious early candidate for Fight of The Night. Lauzon is coming off his most impressive win to date, when he submitted Jaime Varner in a back and forth affair at UFC on Fox 4 in Los Angeles. Jim Miller’s career can best be described by those he has lost too. His only four losses came against Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson, Frankie Edgar, and Gray Maynard arguably 4 of the top lightweights in UFC history. Miller will need to avoid Lauzon’s submission game and keep the fight standing.

Prediction: Lauzon via 2nd Round Submission

MAIN EVENT

Cain Velasquez (10-1 MMA) v Junior Dos Santos (15-1 MMA) Current UFC Heavyweight Champion

Analysis: In there first bout Dos Santos only needed 1:04 seconds to take the title from Cain’s waist. This time Velasquez will need to avoid the heavy hands of Dos Santos and land a few of his own. Standing up either fighter can knock out the other however, Dos Santos’s boxing pedigree is the best in the business. The Champion will look to keep the fight standing, while Velasquez will certainly be trying to set up his technical wrestling in order to control the fight on the ground. Dos Santos although not seen on his back often, does possess a Noguiera brothers Black Belt, so he is no push over on the mat himself.

Prediction: Dos Santos via 2nd Round TKO

 

 

UFC 144 Fight card Analysis Part 1

by Jonathan M. King

Yoshihiro Akiyama versus Jake Shields

Jake Shields is looking to break out of the fighting and life doldrums. Following his title loss to St. Pierre, Shields lost his father and manager Jack suddenly at the age of 67. Jack Shields was a great mentor and friend to several of the Cesar Gracie fighters, and his loss is still being felt. After the death of his father, Shields then saw his contenders position smashed away by Jake Ellenberger knees. In just 53 seconds, Shields for the first time lost consecutive fights. He will be looking to rebound against Yoshihiro Akiyama who is coming down in weight, following his 3 consecutive losses at the 185 lbs weight class. Although on the later end of his career “SexyYama” is still a dangerous striker. Prediction: Shields submission rd 1

Yushin Okami versus Tim Boetsch

Yushin Okami posesses that rare combination of pedigree, performance, and longevity in MMA, he earned his ass whooping at the hand of Ander son Silva. Tim Boetsch has been grinding out wins, by his whole career. Grappling himself either into a decision win, or submission victory in 5 of his last 6 wins. In his last 16 fights Yushin Okami has lost to Jake Shields, Anderson Silva, and Chael Sonnen, and Rich Franklin; with the Silva fight being the only one that ended early. With his history of fighting on big stages, Prediction: Okami via Decision

Hatsu Hioki versus Bart Palaszewski

After winning in his octagon debut against George Roop, Hatsu Hioki is looking to continue his rise to the top of the division. This time Hioki will stand toe to toe with Bart Palazewski. Palazewski is coming off an impressive octagon debut of his own, seeing him knock out UFC vet Tyson Griffin in 2:45. This bought is another classic showdown between striker and submission fighter, however the submission fighter (Hioki) has never been knocked out! Prediction: Hioki via submission rd 2

Anthony Pettis versus Joe Lauzon

First of all, this is my prediction for fight of the night. With 21 wins in his MMA career, Joe Lauzon seems to always be the underdog. His last fight against Melvin Guillard was meant to be a launching point for Guillard’s title shot. However, 47 seconds into round 1, Lauzon dropped and choked out those fiery title hopes. Anthony Pettis has fought and beat just about everyone he has been in front of, including the man challenging for the division title, Benson Henderson. Prediction: Pettis via decision

 


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.