Posts Tagged ‘UFC 153’

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

by Jonathan King The Clinch Report

With the recent rash of injuries in the UFC, many intriguing match-ups have arisen only to disappear. Jon Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) the current light heavy weight champion of the world was offered his title shot because of an injury. When Rashad Evans (17-2-1 MMA, 15-2-1 UFC) was unable to compete against Maurcio ‘Shogun’ Rua (21-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) because of an injury, Jones accepted the title shot and went on to dominate Rua becoming the promotions youngest UFC champion in history. Since then other opportunities have been offered, some accepted, some refused, but none were as successful as Jones.

Recently with injuries to both Georges St Pierre (22-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) and Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and as in the past, the UFC decided to implement ‘Interim’ champions. Currently both Carlos Condit (28-5 MMA, 6-1 UFC), and Renan Berao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) hold these titles in the welterweight and bantamweight division respectively. Both fighters are obligated to unify their titles once St. Pierre and Cruz are healthy enough to compete again.

The past month has been especially rough with both title contenders and title holders being injured. After Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 8-2 UFC) injured his knee and was unable to fight Jon Jones several people had the opportunity to rise to the occasion, only no one did. Fighters only have a small window of time before these injuries take their toll. The cliche ‘better to have tried and failed, then to have never tried at all.” seems to be apropos.

As the UFC roster expands more contenders will surely emerge. Hungry young fighters that would relish the opportunity to reach the limelight are moving up the ranks. Fighters such as Chris Weidman, (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) Glover Texiera (18-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Steven ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (6-1 MMA , 1-1 UFC), and Alexander Gustafsson (14-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) are certainly going to be looking for the opportunities that Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) willing let go. Now that Machida is set to face Henderson, it seems obvious that title shots disappear quicker and easier than they are offered.

 

Multiple sources have confirmed, although the UFC is yet too, that Anderson Silva will fight at 205 lbs against Stephan Bonner at UFC 153 in Brazil. Filling in for the card that was decimated by injuries to both the main event, and co main event. Also rumored is Wanderlei Silva v Chael Sonnen.

by Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Professional Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Hockey all share one common trait. They all have extensive off seasons. Athletes are able to recover, rest, and regenerate. Slowly the athletes prepare in preseason workouts and scrimmages, allowing their bodies to peak physically in accordance with the lengthy season ahead. Still these athletes consistently fall pray to injury. Pugilistic or martial arts based sports are not given the luxury of off seasons. Although they do not compete every day, they fight everyday. Simply because that is how fighters train, they fight.

A Mixed Martial Arts gym is quite an amazing site. To the untrained eye, it would appear that teammates would be fighting with intent to injure or to at least appear victorious. However, that is not the case. The art of sparring and pulling punches while training allows fighters to train somewhat safely, in a rather chaotic environment. Still, accidents happen and injuries result.

Recently, the UFC scrapped the entire UFC 151 card due to events that stemmed originally from an injury. The soap opera that ensued after Dan Henderson tore his knee is well documented. Challenges were made, egos inflated, feelings were hurt, sour grapes resulted, and several fighters were left without pay-days. Some blamed Jon Jones for not accepting a replacement fight Chael Sonnen on short notice, some blamed the UFC for not having a backup plan, or for having a deep enough card. Blame however, has become last weeks discerning water cooler topics for MMA fans. Now a chronic issue, a solution has become tantamount too accountability.

With the news that both Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, and Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo are both injured, the fate of the main event for UFC 153 is in jeopardy. The fight world is again left in limbo. Jackson sustained a undisclosed training injury, while Jose Aldo has a rather serious foot injury. With the both headlining fights scrapped the UFC is scrambling to avoid a second cancellation in less than a month.

The recent rash of injuries, and a ever expanding roster the UFC is posed with its most vexing problem of late. One solution would be to have larger purse fights on the under-cards. The younger fighters that use these spots for growth and opportunity could be given a minor league event or showcase that would enable them to advance. This would enable the company too move more recognizable names into the Pay Per View slots. In Pride established fighters such as Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Vitor Belfort, and both Nogueira brothers have fought multiple times in slots that would be considered to be under-card bouts in the UFC. The answer may not be easy, but the need to find a solution has become glaringly apparent.

Dana White, Joe Silva and the Ferttita brothers have already discussed possible ways to deal with the injury bug. Having fighters in a sort of ‘standby’ status has worked once or twice, most notably with Michael Bisping. However replacing a Jose Aldo v Frankie Edgar title fight in Brazil, may be impossible to replace.