Posts Tagged ‘Rich Franklin’

Photo By: Bob Fisher

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

When word broke last, I like most chalked it up to rumors fueled by the Alvarez release. Then for a few days it disappeared. Waking this morning to the news that former TUF 1 Finalist and UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar came out of retirement to sign a multi-fight deal with the UFC’s rival Bellator MMA was not shocking, but it does seem intriguing.

‘The American Psycho” released a statement with regards to the signing, and hinted as to why..

I want everyone to know I’m coming out of retirement because it’s time to free the MMA world of the virus that’s known as Tito Ortiz. We’ve been suffering through his boring fights for too many years, and it’s about time that someone beats it out of him once and for all.” Stephan Bonnar

Earlier this week the UFC signed Bellator MMA’s 155 lbs champion Eddie Alvarez setting him up for his promotional debut against Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. Now with the Bonnar signing; although much less relevant, Bellator has shown they mean business. Even if they are past their primes, Bonnar v Ortiz is a fight that is guaranteed to entertain. Bonnar’s chin down head first style, and Ortiz’s traditional ground and pound make this a chess match on paper that should not be missed.

Does Stephan Bonnar v Tito Ortiz matter in the MMA world? Sure it does. The fight matters as long as it is promoted properly. If its a grudge match pitting two guys who clearly dont like each other, then its a fun fight. If this ends up being a setup for a 205 lbs contender, then its a joke. A joke that may end up costing the promotion credibility.

Is Bonnar the same guy he was when he carried the sport on his shoulders in his first fight with Forrest Griffin? No, but that doesn’t mean he still cant entertain in the cage.

Setting either one of these guys up for a title run, will only solidify the companies position as a UFC pretender. However, if they utilize both of these guys the way the UFC uses fighters like Cung Le and Rich Franklin, it could be a pretty smart move. Bonnar is also a polished broadcaster, so he will probably see double duty when he is not fighting.

The move will certainly illicit some sort of response from his former employer. Dana White has always been a huge supporter of Bonnar, and even went to great lengths to defend his enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. So it will be interesting to hear his response.

Quelled as a rumor when first reported a week or so ago, the signing may be a sign that the two promotions have put to rest the animosity. Under Bjorn Rebney’s control Bellator MMA was consistently the target for well placed jabs by Dana White, who referred to his counterpart “Bjork”. Now with Rebney out, and Scott Coker in, maybe the two promotions have decided to co exist.

If so it would be a decision that could benefit both companies and the sport as a whole. Perhaps a united front from both Viacom and Zuffa would present a hurdle that even Sheldon Silver could not jleap over, paving the way for the sport to be legalized in New York State. If these two giants could unite if only for that purpose…..Oh the humanity that would result!


By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

MAIN CARD Predictions and Analysis

(FUEL TV, 9 a.m. ET)

  • Jeff Hougland (10-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (15-7-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC)

Both of these bantamweight strikers were originally scheduled to face each other at UFC 151, which was cancelled due to a string of injuries. Coming off recent losses, each fighter finds themselves in a must win situation. With a history of alternating wins and losses that dates back to 2009, Mizugaki should be able to continue the trend with his elusive defense, and his superior striking.

Prediction: Mizugaki via unanimous decision

  • Jon Tuck  (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Tiequan Zhang (15-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC)

John Tuck is undefeated as a professional and possesses a definite athletic advantage. Although Zhang will have the edge with experience and the hometown crowd, Tuck should be able to push the smaller Zhang around the cage. Eventually his athleticism will prove to be too much.

Prediction: Tuck via 2nd rd TKO

  • Mac Danzig (21-9-1 MMA, 5-5 UFC) vs. Takanori Gomi (33-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC)

Mac Danzig rose to fame winning the ultimate fighter reality show, securing his spot in the UFC. Since then he has compiled a .500 record with some impressive wins, but some poor showings as well. Takanori Gomi is an absolute legend in the sport of MMA. Although his record in the UFC at 2-3 is not stellar, “The Fireball Kid” still has some serious striking ability. However Mac Danzig should be able to utilize his improved striking and wrestling defense to maintain position.

Prediction: Danzig via unanimous decision

  • Dong Hyum Kim (15-2-1 MMA, 6-2 UFC  vs. Paulo Thiago (14-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC)

Both of these fighters are coming off quick losses. Kim was forced to submit after suffering a weird rib injury vs Demian Maia, and Thiago was knocked out cold by UFC newcomer Siyar Bahadurzada in just 47 seconds. Kim will hold a definitive striking advantage over Thiago, however the Brazilian does have power. Kim will need his technique to avoid the KO power of Thiago. If Thiago is able to get the fight to the mat, he will be in a more comfortable position. However, Kim has great wrestling defense, and should be able to keep Thiago’s shots at bay with his superior striking.

Prediction: Kim via TKO rd 3

  • Stanislav Nedkov (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Thiago Silva (14-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC)

Thiago Silva was at one time one of the top fighters in the world at 205 lbs, and for good reason. His size and power, coupled with an excellent submission game make him extremely dangerous. However recent issues (failed drug test, suspension and long layoff) had taken their toll on the Brazilian born fighter. In his return, he faced an extremely game Alexander Gustafsson who was able to literally strike circles around the lumbering Silva, frustrating him all the way to a unanimous decision loss. Now Silva will look to return to form, with a new team (Blackzilians) and against a burly striker much like himself. Stanislav Nedkov  is undefeated as a professional and has notable knockout victories over Luiz Cane, and Travis Wiuff. At only 5’11 he will be giving away a distinct height and reach advantage. A disadvantage he will have to overcome, as going to the ground with Silva is not an option for the Bulgarian striker.

Prediction: Silva rd submission (set up by strikes)

  • Rich Franklin (29-6 MMA, 14-5 UFC)  vs. Cung Le (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC)

Although both fighters are past their primes; with only Franklin holding on to the slimmest of title aspirations, it should make for an exciting match up. Even at 40 years old, Cung Le can strike with the best in the division. His spinning liver kick may be one of the most devastating strikes ever recorded in MMA. His unique angling. and superior flexibility allow him to hit his opponent at seemingly impossible times. Rich Franklin is one of the most well rounded mixed martial artists in the history of the sport. The former school teacher, and former Middleweight Champion of the world can strike, wrestle and roll with the best. He has notable wins over Chuck Liddell, Wanderlai Silva (Twice), Nate Quarry, and many others in his storybook career. If Franklin is able to close the distance then he should be able to control Le, who has shown his weakness on the ground. Once in position the ground and pound will begin, and end!

Prediction: Franklin rd TKO (ground and pound)

Fight of The Night Prediction: Silva v Nedkov

KO of The Night prediction: Kim

Submission of The Night Prediction: Silva