Saturday, March 19, 2011

Verbal Submission: UFC 128 Preview

Time to preview UFC 128:

Music to listen to:  No Love by Eminem ft. Lil Wayne
I’m going to save my thoughts on Zuffa’s purchase of Strikeforce for another post but I do have mixed emotions about it overall.  I don’t think you’re going to see the immediate effects of the purchase right now but the impact will be felt by this time next year.

For now, I’m going to preview UFC 128, which is taking place in Newark, New Jersey, just a hop and a skip away from New York City.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Jon “Bones” Jones:  This is an interesting fight because I think you can make a tentative argument that these two men are the premier light heavyweights in the world and they’re mirror images of each other at this stage of their careers.

For all of the hype that we’re getting about Jones, which is deserved, Shogun did this routine about seven years ago in Pride while fighting in Japan.  Shogun was the young prodigy who was destroying more seasoned fighters as a man in his early 20′s.

Unfortunately for Shogun, injuries have derailed a career that was destined to be an all-timer.  Since entering the UFC in September 2007, he is 3-2 and had to fight through several reconstruction knee surgeries.  However, he did look excellent in his last fight, a first-round knockout of Lyoto Machida at UFC 113 in May 2010 that made him the UFC champion.  If Shogun can come into this fight with the same aggressive mentality he did for the second Machida fight, he may emerge with his biggest victory in the UFC yet.

For Jones, the meteoric rise from novice to title contender has been fast but also structured well.  He has moved up the light heavyweight ladder properly and looked better in each fight, showing improvements each time.  In his victory over Stephan Bonner at UFC 94 in January 2009, we saw the elite wrestling skills on display as well as excellent Judo throws that have even been used has the logo for his promotional items.

We saw Jones’ evolving striking in his TKO victory over Brandon Vera at UFC Live 1 in March 2010.  Finally, we saw solid ground techniques in his last fight, a submission win over Ryan Bader in February of this year.

In the Bader fight, we saw excellent takedown defense as well as the submission on an intricate Guillotine Choke.

As for this fight, I don’t think that the short turnaround will be a major issue.  If anything, Jones fighting again in one-month time will prevent him from gaining rust and becoming stagnant in his training.

Rua hasn’t fought in over a year and that’s not easy for any fighter, especially when facing someone as explosive as Jones.

I expect the fight to start off slow because both men will want to feel comfortable in the cage.  Both men tend to be fast starters so this may not even matter.

It will be a physical contest overall.  I expect Rua to use his supreme leg kicks to wear down Jones for the later rounds.  Jones should use his reach advantage to use jabs, keeping Rua at a distance.  Jones does have the better wrestling and will get one of his patented throws in on Rua during the fight.

However, Rua does have excellent Jui-jitsu skills, probably better than Jones’ at this stage.

Prediction:  Rua by decision.  Jones will be game but I ultimately think experience will play a big factor in Rua using guile to win a close, close fight.

Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland:  The second-best career move of the past few months in MMA, the first one was for Jones to join Greg Jackson’s training camp, was for Faber to move down to bantamweight.

At that weight, Faber is able to take advantage of his greatest assets, physical wrestling and supreme mat control.  When Faber was a featherweight, he was able to use his skills well until bigger fighters such as Mike Brown.  His loss to Jose Aldo shouldn’t carry much shame but Faber knew that he wasn’t going to beat the Brazilian any time soon.

So the move to bantamweight has looked good so far as Faber won his debut in the division with a submission of Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 52 in November 2010.

Wineland shouldn’t be looked at as a stepping stone for Faber to get a shot at the UFC bantamweight title.   He’s an excellent standup fighter in his own right.

Prediction:  Faber by decision.  Wineland will try to get some takedowns of his own but Faber’s pace will be too much for him to keep up with.

Other predictions:

Jim Miller def. Kamal Shalorus by decision
Nate Marquart def. Dan Miller via 3rd Round TKO
Brendan Schaub def. Mirko “Cro Cop” Fillipovic via. 1st Round TKO
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © 2011 Terselubung Blog™ All Rights Reserved - Powered By Google Blog Search - Index By Google - Yahoo 陰滋病 媽媽笑聲太恐怖?Baby傻眼