This coming weekend the UFC hosts a Friday night card with their biggest star competing in the main event and a pretty interesting few fights on the main card.
Let's take a look at what the final UFC show of 2011 has in store for us.
Brock Lesnar (5-2) vs "The Demolition Man" Alistair Overeem (35-11)- This is a very difficult fight to call as we have a top level wrestler who doesn't like to be hit facing off a devastating striker with questionable takedown defense but regardless of how this one plays out, it should be "fireworks" while it lasts.
Overeem is coming off an uneventful performance having defeated Fabricio Werdum earlier in the year while Lesnar has been inactive for over a year, dealing with a second bout of diverticulitis.
Brock's wrestling is where he can win this fight and with someone his size, Overeem is going to have problems if Brock gets on top of him while Overeem should be looking to put his hands all over Brock's body and hope to pound him into oblivion.
With all the controversy surrounding Overeem's drug testing and the fact that his mom is currently fighting cancer for the third time, it remains to be seen where Overeem's head is at and if Lesnar can capitalize on it.
Brock will have to be careful and fight an extremely careful fight if he wants to win this one and I have never thought of Brock as much of a game planer which seems to bode well for Overeem.
I can definitely see Brock getting the takedown early in the fight but if he doesn't end if quick then I feel the fight favors Overeem.
Expect Overeem to pummel Brock on the feet using knees and combinations and end it there or even slap on one of his ridiculously tight guillotines when Brock shoots for the takedown to get the victory and maybe even make Brock re-question whether he wants to even be a fighter any longer.
Prediction: Overeem by knockout
Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (17-3) vs Nate Diaz- This fight has had me excited since the day the fight was announced and it may even materialize into a contender for fight of the year.
Cerrone has been the breakout star of 2011 since coming over from the WEC to the UFC earlier this year and has notable victories over Paul Kelly, Vagner Rocha, Charles Oliveira and Denis Siver.
What's most impressive about Cerrone is that he is well versed in both the striking department and on the mat, finishing opponents any way he chooses.
Nate Diaz has finally returned to the lightweight division and had a big win a few months ago over Takanori Gomi to put him in line with Cerrone.
Both men have great submission skills and if the other one is caught sleeping then his opponent should be able to pounce all over the opportunity, however, neither man gets finished easily and I can see this one contested all over the cage.
Diaz's lengthy frame usually works to his advantage when facing hesitant strikers but Cerrone is too disciplined to back off and give Diaz the opportunity to put in to play his game plan.
Although it's doubtful that he finishes Diaz, I see Cerrone picking Diaz apart on the feet where he has more power and refusing to take the fight to the ground where Diaz will feel more at home.
Prediction: Cerrone by unanimous decision
Jon Fitch (23-3-1) vs Johnny Hendricks (11-1)-
Classic battle of wrestlers here who will more than likelybe looking to grind out a three round decision to the boos of the crowd.
Although both men are high credentialed wrestlers, neither has won over the masses in any of their recent outings due to their lack of finishing power.
Fitch is coming off an injury and hasn't been in the cage for almost a year but he hasn't been given an easy fight as Hendricks’s isn't going to be taken down with ease the way past Fitch opponents have been.
Hendricks may have more power in his hands then Fitch however it's more raw power and he lacks the technique needed to put combinations together successfully.
I feel that this is a decent fight to see if Fitch is still at the top of the division and an opportunity for him to clear another welterweight "out of the mix".
Watch any Fitch fight he's ever had in the UFC and that should reveal just how he plans on getting the victory in this one.
Prediction: Fitch by unanimous decision
Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson (12-1) vs "The Janitor" Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5)- The winner of this fight should most likely find himself facing the upper echelon of UFC light heavyweight in his next fight as both of these men are hovering around the number ten spot in the UFC.
Gustafsson has done well thus far in the UFC and is slowly turning into a legit contender at 205 after being a highly touted prospect for years while Matyushenko is currently enjoying a rebirth in the UFC, winning his last couple fights including a less than one minute knockout of Jason Brilz.
Gustafsson's only real weakness seems to be his takedown defense which is something Matyushenko should be looking to exploit on account of his wrestling credentials but Gustaffson has shown the ability to return fights to the feet quickly and I think he'll be too much for Matyushenko due to his quickness and reckless style.
A finish of Matyushenko is possible but I feel a dominant three round decision is more likely in the cards.
Prediction: Gustafsson by unanimous decision
Nam Phan (17-9) vs Jim Hettes (9-0) - Hettes is a submission wizard while Pham has some of the best stand-up at 145 which could make for either an entertaining fight or a complete styles clash.
Pham won his most recent fight against Leonard Garcia, a fight in which a rematch was required when Garcia blatantly won the first fight but was on the losing end of the judge’s scorecard while Hettes has been making waves in the UFC most recently submitting Michael Johnson.
There is no doubt in my mind that Hettes can submit Pham but Pham has good enough takedown defense to keep this one on the feet where he has the advantage.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Pham escape with the victory.
Prediction: Phan by unanimous decision-
Dong-Hyun "Stun Gun" Kim (14-1-1) vs Sean Pierson (11-5) - Prediction: Kim by unanimous decision
Ross Pearson (12-5) vs Junior Assuncao (13-4) - Prediction: Pearson by unanimous decision
Jacob Volkman (13-2) vs TJ Grant (17-5)- Prediction: Volkman by unanimous decision
Diego "The Gun" Nunes (16-2) vs Manny Gamburyan (11-6)- Prediction: Nunes by unanimous decision
Matthew Riddle (5-3) vs Luis "Beicao" Ramos (19-7)- Prediction: Riddle by unanimous decision
Anthony Njokuani (14-5) vs Danny "Last Call" Catillo (12-4)- Prediction: Castillo by unanimous decision
Nam Phan (17-9) vs Jim Hettes (9-0)- Prediction: Phan by unanimous decision
Review of UFC 140: Jones vs Machida
The UFC returned to Toronto several weeks ago for a show that ended up being really fun with a few surprises and some upsets.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship- Jon "Bones" Jones (14-1) submitted Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida (17-3) to a guillotine choke at 4:26 of the second round-
The one thing people needed to see before "hitching the wagon" on Jon Jones was how the champion would be able to come back from adversity and Jones was able to pass the test after this one.
Lyoto came out and was able to put Jones in trouble on a couple of occasions in the opening round with some precise counter striking but between the first and second rounds, Jones showed why he is currently the best fighter in the world by cutting Lyoto with a vicious elbow and sinking in a tight guillotine that ended the Dragon's night.
Post fight, Jones had some heat from fans for the way he dropped the passed out Lyoto but I feel its unwarranted as in a fight people don't always think straight plus with all the hate out there towards Jones, it seems like a lot of people are just looking for reasons to not like the guy.
As well as walking away from the fight as unquestionably the 2010 fighter of the year, Bones also brought home a $75 000 bonus for submission of the night.
Frank Mir (16-5) submitted Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira (33-7-1) to a kimura at 3:38 of the first round- This was a rematch from a 2008 encounter where Mir was able to knock out Nog for the first time in his career and when all was said and done in this one, Mir became the first person to submit the Pride legend when he broke his arm with a kimura.
Although Nog has looked slow and sluggish in recent fights, this wasn't one of them as Nog blitzed Mir with punches early and had him stumbling but Nog's only mistake was attempting a guillotine choke instead of continuing his onslaught as Mir was able to escape and slap on the kimura which Nog fought valiantly to escape but eventually tapped out when Mir was able to break Nog's arm.
Following the fight, Mir was cocky as usual by reminding the fans that he was now the first person to knock out and submit Nog.
This had to be one of the most gruesome injuries that the UFC has ever produced and a hell of a fight while it lasted. Mir was able to take home an additional $75 000 for submission of the night with the win.
Antonio Rogerio "Minotoro" Nogueira (20-5) defeated "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Tito Ortiz (16-10-1) by tko at 3:15 of the first round- Both men came out looking to finish this one quick but it was Lil Nog who was able to find his range first and pummel Tito to the ground and force the referee to step in and call a stop to the action when Tito was unable to defend himself from vicious body shots.
Post fight, Tito expressed his desire to fight once more then retire which is probably a good idea since Tito has been finished now twice in his last couple fights, something new to Tito and they were both due to body shots, somewhere where Tito has begun to show some vulnerability.
It's still pretty early to say but I can see Tito getting one last opportunity under Zuffa, most likely facing Forrest Griffin to cap off their trilogy.
Although with a fast paced and quick fight such as this, it's tough to gauge where Lil Nog's at in the division but this was easily his best performance in the UFC and a fight with someone like Shogun or Stephan Bonnar makes a lot of sense.
Brian "Bad Boy" Ebersole (49-14-1) defeated Claude "The Prince" Patrick (14-2) by split decision- Close fight here that probably could have gone to either man as for the most part, Ebersole was able to control Patrick while Patrick took more of the stand-up exchanges.
Although Patrick is from Toronto, the crowd wasn't much into this one until the scorecards were read.
Post fight, Ebersole who found himself in a couple of guillotine attempts said that the guillotine is a myth which definitely isn't true as was shown in the main event.
This is Ebersole's third win in the UFC and he's slowly climbing the ranks of the welterweight division and should see himself against a higher level of competition in his next outing.
"The Korean Zombie" Chang Sung Jung (12-3) defeated Mark "The Machine" Hominick (20-10) at :07 of the first round- Not much to say here other than that Hominick rushed in on Jung and Jung made him pay for it when he landed some solid shots to Hominick's face which dropped the Canadian and had him knocked out as the referee stepped in to call a stop to the fight as a late punch woke up Hominick and had him questioning the loss.
Jung's stand-up has always been good but if Hominick had fought a more disciplined fight he could have won this one.
Jung received an additional $70 000 for knockout of the night.
Dennis "Superman" Hallman (51-14-2)submitted John "The Bull" Makdessi (9-1) to a rear naked choke at 2:58 of the first round
Mark Bocek (10-4)defeated Nik "The Carnie" Lentz (21-4-2) by unanimous decision
Igor Pokrajac (24-8)defeated "The Polish Experiment" Krzysztof Soszynski (26-12-1) by knockout at: 35 of the first round
John Cholish (8-1)defeated Mitch Clarke (9-1) by tko at 4:36 of the second round
Jake Hecht (11-2)defeated Rich "The Raging Bull" Attonito (10-5) by tko at 1:10 of the second round
Constantinos Philippou (9-2)defeated Jared "The Messenger" Hamman (13-4) by knockout at 3:11 of the first round
Yves "Tiger" Jabouin defeatedWalel "The Gazel" Watson (8-3)by split decision
Recap ofThe Ultimate Fighter #14 Finale
A few weeks ago the UFC held its last TUF finale to air on Spike.
Although the main event between the coaches left a lot to be desired, the rest of the show ended up being one of the best TUF finales in 14 seasons.
Let's take a look at the results from the show.
Michael "The Count" Bisping (21-3) defeated Jason "Mayhem" Miller (24-7) by tko at 3:34 of the third round- With this fight being only the third, five round non title fight in UFC history, by the second round I think many fans were wondering how both men were going to get through the full 25 minutes.
In a disappointing main event, Bisping pummeled a gassed and exhausted Miller through the second and third rounds until the referee could see no more, stopping Miller from further punishment.
Miller started the fight strong but wasted a lot on energy taking Bisping down in the first round and even landed some hard punches but Bisping was able to survive the first round and pushed the pace in the second and third rounds, shaking off more takedown attempts and working Miller's head and body in the stand-up exchanges.
Miller didn't even look like he belonged in the cage with Bisping or even in the UFC for that matter during the fight at it remains to be seen if Zuffa gives him another opportunity in MMA's biggest promotion.
With the win, Bisping puts himself "in the mix" at middleweight and only a fight or two away from challenging Anderson Silva.
Both men were classy in their post fight speeches, getting the crowd to applaud their opponent and it seems like Bisping is trying to shake the bad boy image.
Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson (13-2) defeated Yves "Thugjitsu Master" Edwards (41-18-1) by unanimous decision-
Great fight here which was way more competetive than the scorecards revealed.
Tony was able to stun Yves with some punches to the face in the first round but wasn't able to put him away as Yves began to get more comfortable and found his range in the second and third rounds.
Both men won some exchanges on the feet but Tony was the one to leave the event with the victory.
Definitely an entertaining fight especially if you're into stand-up battles.
Diego "Ceara" Brandao (13-7) submitted Dennis "The Menace" Bermudez (7-2) to an arm bar at 4:51 of the first round.
This fight was great from the opening bell and defintely showcased both mens flaws and talents at the same time.
Diego came out like a ball of fire and pushed the pace early but upon rushing in on Bermudez he was dropped by a big punch to the chin then hammered with a vicious beating from his back until just second away from the end of the round, he caught Dennis' arm and applied a terrific arm bar that came close to breaking Denni's arm which forced the tap out.
Terrific battle while it lasted and both men ended up looking good due to the competetiveness and excitement of the fight.
Diego cut a great promo post fight vowing to by his mom a house in Brazil.
Credit should go to the producers of the 14th season of TYF as they were able to portray Diego as someone viewers legitimately care about through edcucating us about his past struggles.
John "The Magician" Dodson (11-5) defeated TJ Dillashaw (4-1) by tko at 1:54 of the first round. Although prior to the fight Dodson stated that his opponent had the ability to take him down and grind out a decision, Dillashaw never commited to a takedown in the fight that lasted less than two minutes.
Dodson hurt Dillashaw with a forearm to the side of the head which hurt Dillashaw and continued his onslaught as Dillashaw went for a single leg but the referee could see no more and stopped the fight following some vicious hammer fists from Dodson.
Although it was a little quick of a stoppage, Dillashaw was completely out of it and it's doubtful he would have recovered.
Dodson celebrated the win with a couple flips off the cage and has a lot of charisma already for a TUF winner and should be able to stay competetive in the division while Dillashaw will probably be given another fight with the UFC.
Johnny "Brutal" Bedford (18-9-1) defeated Louis "Goodnight" Gaudinot (5-2) by tko at 1:58 of the third round- The story of the fight here was the much larger fighter, Bedford taking down Gaudinot at will and pummeling him until the end of each round until finally the referee stepped in to call a stop to the fight following some unanswered punches.
Pretty one sided fight with Bedford keeping his job in the UFC with the win and requesting a rematch with TUF 14 bantamweight winner John Dodson following the victory.
Expect the undersized Gaudinot to drop to flyweight now that the UFC has opened up the division.
Marcus "Brim" Brimage (4-1) defeated Stephen "Bigfish" Bass (10-1) by unanimous decision
"Stunning" Roland Delorme (7-1) submitted Josh "Taz" Ferguson (8-4) to a rear naked choke at 0:22 of the third round
"Super" Steven Siler (19-9) defeated Josh "The Gentleman" Clopton (6-1-1) by unanimous decision
Bryan "Kid Lightning" Caraway (16-5) submitted Dustin "The Beast" Neace (23-18-1) to a rear naked choke at 3:38 of the second round
John "Prince" Albert (7-1) defeated Dustin Pague (10-5) by tko at 1:09 of the first round
Results of Strikeforce: Melendez vs Masvidal
Strikeforce hosted their last show of 2012 in what turned out being a pretty disappointing show.
Quick results are listed below.
Strikeforce Lightweight Title- Gilbert Melendez (20-2) defeated Jorge Masvidal (22-7) by unanimous decision- Melendez was thought to have the edge on the mat but never really coimmited to getting the fight there and instead worked his jab to perfection, never really giving Masvidal a chance to unload despite Masvidal landing a few jabs of his own to cut up Melendez's face.
There is no denying who won this fight but if Melendez is going to try his luck with the elite of the UFC's lightweight division then he'll have to stay away froim "high risk, low reward" fights such as this since Masvidal is no world beater and Melendez should have looked way more dominant in this one.
Post fight, Melendez issued an open challenge to any top UFC lightweights to come over to Strikeforce and challenge him. Expect a Kenny Florian or the winner of Melvin Guillard/Jim Miller to accept his challenge.
Strikeforce Women's Featherweight- Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (11-1) defeated Hiroko Yamanaka (12-2) by tko at 0:16 of the first round- This fight went pretty much exactly as most expected as Cyborg overwhelmed the former dominatrix and finished her with punches in the oipening exchange.
A rumor is floating around that Cyborg is looking to drop from 145lbs to 135lbs where the majority of women fighters compete as there are no legitimate challengers left at 145 for Mrs. Cyborg.
KJ Noons (11-4) defeated Billy Evangelista (11-2) by unanimous decision-
Noons got the win here although many, including myself had Evengelista on the scorecards.
Both men were content standing and trading and unfortunately for Evangelista this was a bad idea as he had a better avenue for success on the mat but never really took his chances there.
Expect Noon's to face off with Caros Fodor in his next fight to establish a Strikeforce number one contender to Melendez's lightweight championship.
Gegard Mousassi (32-3-2) defeated Ovince St. Preulx (11-5) by unanimous decision- Gegard's improved takedown defense is what won him this fight as once OSP was unable to Gegard down, he was no match on the feet.
OSP finished the fight attempting a Kimura but unforunately it was too little to late for the wrestler.
Caros "The Future" Fodor (7-1) defeated Justin "The Silverback" Wilcox (11-4) by knockout at 0:13 of the first round
"Relentless" Roger Bowling (10-2) knocked out Jerron Peoples (4-2) at 0:42 of the first round
Devin Cole (20-9-1) defeated Gabriel Salinas-Jones (5-1-1) by unanimous decision
Strikeforce: Rockhold vs Jardine from Las Vegas, Nevada- January 7th, 2012
Strikeforce Middleweight Title- Luke Rockhold (8-1) vs "The Dean of Mean" Jardine (17-9-2)
Muhammed Lawal (8-1) vs Lorenz "The Monsoon" Larkin (12-0)
Tyron Woodley (9-0) vs Jordan "Young Gun" Mein (23-7)
"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler (18-8) vs Adlan Amagov (9-1-1)
Tarec Saffiedine (11-3) vs Tyler "The Evolution" Stinson (22-7)
UFC 142 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- January 14th, 2012
UFC Featherweight Title- Jose "Scarface" Aldo (20-1) vs Chad "Money" Mendes (11-0)
Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort (20-9) vs Anthony Johnson (10-3)
Edson Barboza (9-0) vs Terry Etim (14-3)
Sam "Hands of Stone" Stout (17-6-1) vs Thiago Tavares (16-4-1)
Erick Silva (13-1) vs Carlo "NEO" Prater (29-10-1)
Stanislav Nedkov (12-0) vs Fabio Maldanado (18-4)
Rousimar Palhares (13-3) vs Mike Massenzio (13-5)
Edinaldo "Lula" Oliveira (13-1) vs Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga (12-6)
Felipe "Sertanejo" Arantes (13-4) vs Antonio "Pato" Carvalho (13-4)
Mike "Quicksand" Pyle (21-8-1) vs Ricardo Funch (8-2)
Michihiro Omigawa (12-10-1) vs Yuri "Marajo" Alcantra (26-3)
Fabio Maldanado (18-4) vs Caio "Hellboy" Magalhaes (5-0)
UFC on FX 1 from Nashville, Tennessee- January 20th, 2012
Jim Miller (20-3) vs Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard (29-9-2)
Josh Neer (32-10-1) vs Duane "Bang" Ludwig (21-11)
Christian Morecraft (7-2) vs Pat Barry (6-4)
Reza "Mad Dog" Madadi (11-2) vs Rafaello "Tractor" Oliveira (14-5)
Kamal Shalorus (7-1-2) vs Habib Nurmagomedov (16-0)
Mike Thomas Brown (25-8) vs Vagner Rocha (7-2)
Eric "Ravishing Red" Schafer (12-6-2) vs Jorge "El Conquistador" Rivera (19-9)
Ryan "Big Deal" Jimmo (16-1) vs Karlos "The Terminator" Vemola (8-2)
Charlie "The Spaniard" Brenneman (14-3) vs Daniel "Ninja" Roberts (12-3)
Nick "Ninja of Love" Denis (10-2) vs Joseph Sandoval (6-1)
UFC on FOX 2 from Chicago, Illinois- January 28th, 2012
"Sugar" Rashas Evans vs "Mr. Wonderful" Phil Davis
Chael Sonnen (26-11-1) vs Mark "The Philippine Wrecking Machine" Munoz (12-2)
Michael "The Count" Bisping (21-3) vs Demian Maia (15-3)
Mike Russow (14-1) vs Jon Olav Einemo (6-2)
Eddie Wineland (18-8-1) vs Johnny "Brutal" Bedford (17-9-1)
Evan Dunham (12-2) vs Paul "Sassangle" Sass (12-0)
Charles "Do Bronx" Oliveira (14-2) vs Eric "Little Lee" Wisely (19-6)
Cody "Bigtime" McKenzie (12-2) vs Michael Johnson (9-6)
George Roop (12-8-1) vs Cub Swanson (15-5)
Chris Camozzi (15-5) vs Dustin Jacoby (6-1)
Joey Beltran (13-6) vs Lavar "Big" Johnson (15-5)
UFC 143 from Las Vegas, Nevada- February 4th, 2012
Interim UFC Welterweight Title- "The Natural Born Killer" Carlos Condit (27-5) vs Nick Diaz (26-7)
Josh "Kos" Koscheck (16-5) vs Mike Pierce (13-4)
Dustin Poirier (10-1) vs Ricardo Lamas (11-2)
Roy "Big Country" Nelson (16-6) vs Fabricio Werdum (14-5-1)
Renan "Barao" Pegado (27-1) vs Scott "Young Guns" Jorgensen (13-4)
Amir Sadollah (5-3) vs Jorge "Lil Monster" Lopez (11-2)
Edwin Figueroa (8-1) vs Ale "Bruce Leroy" Caceres (6-4)
Michael "Judo" Kuiper (11-0) vs Rafael "Sapo" Natal (13-3-1)
UFC on Fuel from Omaha, Nebraska- February 15th, 2012
Jake Ellenberger (26-5) vs Diego "The Dream" Sanchez (23-4)
Dave "Pee Wee" Herman (21-2) vs Stefan Struve (22-5)
Aaron Simpson (11-2) vs Ronny Markes (12-1)
Jonathan Brookins (12-4) vs Rani Yahya (16-7)
Ivan "The Pride of El Salvador" Menjivar (23-8) vs John "Prince" Albert (6-1)
Stipe Miocic (7-0) vs Philip De Fries (8-0)
UFC 144 from Saitama, Japan- February 26th, 2012
UFC Lightweight Title- Frank "The Answer" Edgar (14-1) vs Ben Henderson (14-2)
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (32-9) vs Ryan "Darth" Bader (12-2)
Jake Shields (26-6-1) vs Yoshihiro "Sexyama" Akiyama" (13-4)
Anthony "Showtime" Pettis (14-2) vs Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon (21-6)
Cheick Kongo (17-6-2) vs Mark Hunt (7-7)
Tie Quan "The Mongolian Wolf" Zhang (15-2) vs Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia (15-8-1)
Yushin Okami (26-6) vs Tim Boetsch (14-4)
George Sotiropoulous (14-4) vs Takanori "Fireball Kid" Gomi (32-8)
Hatsu Hioki (25-4-2) vs Bart "Bartimus" Palaszewski (36-14)
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (18-5) vs Vaughan Lee (11-7-1)
Takeya Mizugaki (15-6-2) vs Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso (11-3)
Riki Fukuda (17-5) vs Steve Cantwell (7-5)
UFC on FX 2 from Sydney, Australia- March 4th, 2012
Thiago "Pitbull" Alves (19-8) vs Martin "Hitman" Kampmann (17-5)
Joseph Benavidez (15-2) vs Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-4-6)
Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson (9-2) vs Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall (11-2)
UFC 146 from Montreal, Quebec, Canada- March 24th, 2012
Rory "Ares" MacDonald (12-1) vs Che Mills (14-4)
Thatls all for this week everyone and Happy Holidays and all the best in the new year to you all!