Another busy week in the world of MMA and no time to spare, so lets have a look at what’s been happening as of late.
WEC 47: Bowles vs Cruz
WEC is looking to expand in 2010 with more shows than in past years and their debut Pay Per View event in one month. This event was a good way to get people familiar with the product as WEC 47 had the return of “Little Evil” Jens Pulver and one of the best pound for pound competitors in the world today, looking to get back in the win column in Miguel Torres.
The event was announced by Stephan Bonnar instead of the regular commentator, the super biased Frank Mir.
I wouldn’t doubt it if Mir was pulled from commentating duties due to his comments in regards to wanting to see Brock Lesnar die in the cage.
I guess some may also say that with a fight coming in the next couple weeks, he may have pulled to focus on his training.
Regardless of the reasoning, Bonnar is a smart man when it comes to MMA and could definitely be successful as a commentator if his fighting career comes to an end which it very well may already have.
Dominick Cruz defeated Brian Bowles at the end of round two by doctor’s stoppage to become the new WEC 135 Champion in an anticlimactic ending.
Bowles, who had broken his hand in his last fight, a WEC Championship victory over Miguel Torres, again broke his hand following the first punch thrown in the opening round of this contest.
When you’re best known for your striking and you`re unable to use that in a fight, then your chances of victory aren’t nearly as high as they once were.
Cruz, who came into this one with a reach advantage, impressed many by picking apart Bowles for two rounds with precise striking and fantastic head movement.
I am not too familiar with Cruz as I’ve only seen him in action a couple of times but Cruz really did impress me in this as he stuck to a good gameplan that eventually paid off.
The contest was stopped during a commercial break and when the camera came back to the cage, Cruz was already celebrating, leaving fans at home wondering what the heck had just happened.
I’ll give respect to anyone who gets in the cage and I doubt I would be able to compete with a broken hand... but in the last year or so we have seen Roussimar Palhares and Urijah Faber both continue fights with broken hands.
I`m not questioning how much pain Bowles was in but the truth of the matter is, these fighters train for several months. It has to be a downer when things like this happen. I would have liked to have seen Bowles continue the fight and recover from his broken hand when the fight is over.
Again, im not questioning Bowles' heart but others have kept going, especially in the case of Faber who even continued to throw punches with his broken hand.
Due to the somewhat controversial ending, I would hope for a rematch sometime down the line for these two but first up for a title shot would be the winner of the next scrap.
Joseph Benavidez submitted Miguel Torres to a guillotine choke at 2:57 of the second round in a minor upset that showed many that Torres is indeed human.
Benavidez gave up close to a foot in reach and a five inch height advantage in favor of Torres but was able to get in close, get him to the ground following a double leg takedown, and cut him open with an elbow.
It wasn’t long before Benavidez sunk in a guillotine choke which forced Torres to tap out.
Benavidez will most likely challenge for Cruz’s championship as the two faves fought before with Cruz being given the unanimous decision victory in Benavidez’ only loss in 13 fights. Torres is still one of the best fighters in the world but he is a rather tall and lanky fighter for 135 which has it’s advantages and disadvantages.
Due to his size, Torres is not the quickest fighter in the division but with a switch to 145 he would be.
Regardless of what Torres does do, he will be successful and get back to his winning ways.
“Showtime” Javier Vazquez submitted “Little Evil” Jens Pulver to an armbar at 3:41 of the first round in probably Pulver’s last MMA fight.
This fight was a must win for both competitors as Velasquez came in having lost his two previous contests and this loss marks Pulver’s fifth loss in a row or seventh in his last eight.
Pulver is a legend of this sport and can be credited for making the lighter weight divisions what they are today but really should stick to training.
His post-fight speech was very emotional as he apologized for the crowd and hinted that this was his last fight as he didn’t want to put his fans through this ever again.
Pulver is a class act and could easily be used as another commentator or analysis for future shows.
L.C. Davis defeated Deividas Taurosevicius by majority decision in a fight the less said the better.
Bart Palaszewski submitted Karen Darabedyan to an armbar at 4:40 of the first round in a fast paced if not slightly one sided contest where Karen was getting the better of Bart consistently with some hard hitting combos.
Bart was able to weather the storm and catch Karen in an armbar with only 20 seconds left in the fight.
This fight was a great opener and a great way to kick off the event.
In Other Fights:
Scott Jorgensen submitted Chad George to a guillotine ckoke at 0:31 of the first round
Chad Mendes defeated Erik Koch by unanimous decision
Anthony Pettis tko’d Danny Castillo at 2:27 of the first round
George Roop and Leonard Garcia fought to a draw
Fredson Paixao submitted Courtney Buck to a rear naked choke at 2:39 of the first round
Ricardo Lamas knocked out Bendy Casimir at 3:43 of the first round
UFC On Versus: Vera vs Jones
Sunday night saw the debut of the UFC on the Versus network and the UFC put together a pretty good card for a free show.
Jon “Bones” Jones defeated
Brandon “The Truth” Vera by TKO at 3:19 of the 1st round.
Jones took down Vera right from the start and stayed on top of him for most of the opening minutes .
Vera caught Jones with an illegal upkick which cause a momentary pause only for an even more aggressive Jones to come out.
Jones was able to land a big elbow to the eye og Vera and followed it up with a few more punches as the referee stepped in calling an end to the action.
Jones continues to show many that he’s one of the best Lightheavyweight’s in the UFC while Vera is in limbo as he can’t hang in there with the top guys.
Time will tell what’s next for both men.
Santos defeated Gabriel Gonzaga by TKO at 3:53 of the 1st round in a fight that went the way most had anticipated.
Dos Santos finds himself in the top 5 heavyweights with the win and may be facing Cain to determine the number one contender to the winner of the Brock Lesnar vs Carwin/Mir’s Heavyweight championship.
Gonzaga continues to be up and down in the UFC as this would have been a great victory for him and way of getting back in to the thick of things in the heavyweight division but unfortunately with this loss he continues to move down the ranks.
Cheick Kong defeated Paul Buentello by tapout to strikes at 1:16 of the third round in a fight where Kongo seemingly abandoned his striking and took down Buentello consistently all the while elbowing Buentello’s body and wearing him out.
At one point in the fight Buentello had problems with his pinky finger only for him too pop it back in to place and get back to the fight which shows the heart Buentello has.
After two full rounds of being toyed with the third round saw Kongo takedown Buentello again and kneeing him followed with some elbows to which Buentello tapped out.
This is the second loss for Buentello who is probably done with the UFC.
Kongo hopefully will go on to a fight with someone like a Brendan Schaub or Gonzaga.
Alessio Sakara defeated James Irvin by TKO at 3:01 of the 1st round when Sakara connected with a punch to Irvin’s eye that Irvin seemed to complain about being hit with a loose finger.
The fight was paused and a replay shown where it was obvious Sakara had hit him with a punch and not an eye poke.
Sakara was then awarded the fight as Irvin had asked for it to be stopped when it wasn’t allowed.
This was a weird ending indeed but Sakara was taking Irvin apart standing and it was only a matter of time until he ended this one.
Sakara has now won three in a row and seems back to form and with this win will hopefully find himself taking on top competition in the Middleweight division soon.
In Other Fights:
Jason Brilz defeated Erick “The Red” Schafer by unanimous decision
Mike Pierce defeated Julio Paulino by unanimous decision
Vladmir Matyushenko defeated Eliot Marshall by split decision
Brendan Schaub tko’d Chase Gormley at 0:47 of the 1st round
John Howard ko’d Daniel Roberts at 2:01 of the 1st round
Clay Guida submitted Shannon Gugerty at 3:40 of the 2nd round
Darren Elkins defeated Duan “Bang” Ludwig by tko when the fight was stopped due to an injury to Ludwig cause in the opening seconds
St. Pierre vs Hardy
This event is hands down the biggest event of 2010 to this point with two title fight’s and a stacked undercard.
This event also has the potential of ending the run of underwhelming UFC shows so far this year.
UFC Welterweight Championship Match:
Georges “Rush” St. Pierre vs “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy-
Dan Hardy has had a great start to his career in the UFC having won all of his four contests and his last seven in a row.
Hardy is a striker with a decent ground game but there are many questions as to how tough of a challenge to Georges he really is.
Georges is one of the best fighters in the world having avenged his previous losses and dominating competition in the form of BJ Penn twice, Matt Hughes twice, Matt Serra, Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and most recently, Thiago Alves.
Dan Hardy, despite all the hype is nowhere near the level of Penn, Fitch or Alves and I believe this is a fairly safe fight for Georges and a fight that he can finish and not take to the judges scorecard.
GSP is so well rounded and should have no problems avoiding Hardy’s punches and take him down whenever he chooses.
I see Georges coming in more aggressive with his strategy then usually and try to pull off a rear naked choke or armbar early into the fight.
Hardy still has a chance albeit a very tiny chance and he has been taking his training for this fight very seriously as seen on the Primetime special hyping this fight on Spike.
Hardy has even begun training with Matt Serra who holds a victory over GSP but I don’t see any of this helping him to defeat Georges.
This should be a fast paced, crowd pleaser of a fight
Prediction: GSP by Submission.
UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship Match:
Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin- Don’t blink during this one as both men are coming off big wins, Carwin over Gabriel Gonzaga and Mir over Cheick Kongo.
Carwin is a monster of a man with great big hands and the ability to throw them but in his last fight with Gonzaga he was hit real well showing that he is human but regardless, Carwin was able to come back and knockout Gonzaga seconds after being clipped himself.
Mir is back on track with a big win over Cheick Kongo.
On paper Mir should win this based on his ground game and submissions but there are still lots of questions as to how good Carwin is and Mir is going to be the guy to test him.
Mir should be able to get Carwin down and keep a distance standing while not ove rcommiting and he should be able to pull off a submission once the two are on the ground.
Frank Mir by Submission.
Jon Fitch vs “The Pitbull” Thiago Alves-
This is a rematch from four years ago where Fitch earned the unanimous decision victory.
Both men have grown leaps and bounds since that fight and have each only been defeated by GSP.
Fitch is second to GSP in terms of wrestling in the UFC’s Welterweight division and has won his last three fights since losing to GSP, all by unanimous decision.
Thiago is a dangerous striker with knockouts over Matt Hughes and Karo Parisyan and could pose some problems to Fitch.
As great of a wrestler as GSP is, he was unable to keep Alves down for any long periods of time in his fight with Alves and Fitch isn’t as great on the feet as Alves.
Something to keep in mind aswell is that in Fitch’s last fight with Mike Pierce, he was rocked a couple of times standing and Alves is much more technical with his kicks and punches then Pierce.
Fitch has also been tagged as a boring fighter and may be looking to prove that unfair by keeping this one standing where the majority of fans seem to like contests.
This one is a very tough call but right now, I see Alves picking Fitch apart with his striking and mostly his kicks to stop Fitch from being able to shoot and win himself a unanimous decision victory to avenge his loss to Fitch.
The winner of this may find themselves on a short list to challenge for GSP’s title.
Prediction: Thiago Alves by Unanimous Decision
Jake Ellenberger vs Ben “Killa B” Saunders-
Saunders is a lanky Muay Thai specialist with four wins in his five contests in the UFC and was able to score a knockout to Marcus Davis with a knee to the jaw in his last outing.
Saunders is a well rounded fighter but can be taken down and held there as proved in his fight with Swick where Swick kept him on his back for most of the fight.
Jake comes in with a 1-1 record in the UFC having lost a controversial decision to Carlos Condit
and a tko victory over Mike Pyle.
Jake is a fantastic wrestler who was able to keep Condit on his back for most of the fight and Condit’s takedown defense is far better then Saunders.
This one will also be one hell of a fight with two very aggressive fighters looking to climb the ranks of the welterweight division.
Although Jake like takedowns he is very comfortable on his feet and should welcome an exchange with “Killa B” to leave the fans entertained.
Prediction: Jake Ellenberger by Unanimous Decision
Jim Miller vs Mark Bocek-
Both of these guys have won their last three fights and are looking to get closer to the top of the lightweight division with a victory here.
Both guys are fast paced and aggressive with Miller being known for his wrestling and Bocek for his Jui Jitsu.
After some even trades standing, I think Miller will be able to keep Bocek on his back and smother him a little to stop Bocek from being able attempt any submissions for a full fifteen minutes to earn himself a victory.
Jim Miller by Unanimous Decision
In Other Fights:
Ricardo Almeida vs Matt Brown- Prediction: Almeida by submission
Nate Diaz vs Rory Markham- Prediction: Diaz by submission
Rodney Wallace vs Jared Hamman- Prediction: Wallace by decision
Kurt Pellegrino vs Fabricio “Morango” Camoes- Prediction: Pellegrino by decision
Rousimar Palhares vs Tomasz Drwal- Prediction: Palhares by submission
Matthew Riddle vs Greg Soto- Prediction: Riddle by decision
That’s it for this week everyone but I’ll be back early next week to breakdown the new season of TUF, the live Fight Night before it and a recap of UFC 111:
St. Pierre vs Hardy.