A Fan’s UFC 200 Conspiracy theory

Hello MMA fans and everyone else!

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen updates from UFC regarding the card of their upcoming seminal event – UFC 200 scheduled for July 9th, 2016. To sum up fan reactions (including this fan right here) in a word, it feels – Underwhelming.

So far, three fights were announced:

  • Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne
  • Gegard Mousasi vs. Derek Brunson
  • Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a card featuring these great fighters any day of the week and twice on a Sunday. But we’re not talking about “just” a PPV. We’re talking about the 200th!

Just a reminder – UFC 100 featured both bestselling fighters at the time – George St. Pierre and Brock Lesnar, in addition to other good fights. This is 100 PPVs later and I just don’t see the stakes being raised just yet…

I’ve heard the idea that the announced fights may be prelim fights and that makes perfect sense.

Unless we consider the current schedule for the various UFC biggest stars and Champions:

  • Daniel Cormier (LHW champ) vs. Jon Jones (Technically never dethroned LHW champ) – UFC 197
  • Mighty Mouse (Flyweight champ) vs. Henry CejudoUFC 197
  • Fabricio Verdum (Heavyweight champ) Vs. Stipe MiocicUFC 198
  • Luke Rockhold (Middleweight champ) Vs. Chris WeidmanUFC 199
  • Dominick Cruz (Bantamweight champ) Vs. Urijah FaberUFC 199
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Strawweight champ) Vs.Claudia GadelhaTUF finale

Unscheduled:

Conor McGregor (Featherweight champ) rumored to fight Nate Diazno Featherweight title fight available for UFC #200

Rafael Dos Anios at LW – a phenomenal fighter. Not such a big seller compared to some of the already booked champions.

Robbie Lawler at WW – Another fantastic fighter, who is popular but with less sales power than other champs.

Next on the PPV sales chart? I guess that’s still Ronda Rousey. Who is she fighting? The champion Miesha Tate? Or a rematch with Holly Holm? Either one will be a great fight and well deserving on being on UFC 200 Main card. But what else?

Here is where the conspiratorial speculation begins…

Imagine this card.

  • Frankie Edgar vs. Max Holloway (or perhaps Renan Barao if he goes up a weight class)
  • Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
  • Co-Co-Main event: Rafael Dos Anios Vs. (Winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson)
  • Co-main event: Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey or Holly Holm

Now you might be saying, so you took care of every unscheduled champion, “bestseller” except for Robbie Lawler (Who I admit, is popular but not a major seller)… So who’s in the main event?

A-ha!

Another person, from whom we’ve been getting steadily increasing updates and news is no other than…

George St. Pierre!

Ever, the diplomat, GSP claims again and again that he’s not returning. Yet.

But what could possibly be a better tie back to UFC 100? What other fight could the UFC possibly dream for champion Robbie Lawler other than the greatest WW alive? We know that Rory Madonald is occupied with Stephen Thompson. I suspect that following that controversial decision win, UFC may not be in a rush to put Robbie in the cage with Carlos Condit right away. But GSP? Are you kidding me? It is the one and only fight I can see at this point, worthy enough to headline UFC 200.

It could be strictly as advertised – a fan’s conspiracy theory.

But… what if?

ManPraying

By all means, I’d be happy to hear your opinions. Your suggested fight cards. Drop us a line.


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UFC Weekend Special – Part 1

Hello interwebs,

I just figured that, trying to sum this whole weekend up in one post would not only be too much for one post, it would also be too much to process.

So what you get instead, are small installments for each leg of this fight marathon.

Keep in mind, that these little tidbits all relate to this one prediction post.

We roll:

Elias Theodorou Vs. Thiago Santos

Yup, I was riding the hype train on this one. and I still have a lot of faith in Elias. He’s young and still have time to work on whatever needs improvement. To be frank, I thought the first round was perfect. Keeping the distance with an unusual volume of kicks, some of which hurt Santos, who looked tentative (to say the least). Second round rolls in and… surprise… Elias chooses to clinch against the cage and work for a TD (which he only gets temporarily and at the tail end of the round, after taking some good shots from Santos). The third is where I was a little disappointed… instead of trying something else, Elias went back to the same game plan which proved inefficient in the second and quite predictably – lost the round and the fight. Two of the judges scored the fight 29-27 Santos which implied he had a 10-8 round… As much criticism as I have for Elias last night, I did not see a complete domination on any of the rounds… Oh well… 0 for 1 on my predictions.

Sage Northcutt Vs. Cody Pfister

Yup, the hype train again. But this time with every reason to jump aboard. The first round was interesting, in that “Super Sage” was caught with a perfect TD and though Pfister was able to pass to half guard and even land one or two strikes, he didn’t do much from the top position. After the ref stood the fighters up (in what set the internet on fire, for some odd reason), Sage scored a TD of his own, easily passed guard, landed better Ground and Pound than Pfister could with his dominant position and even applied a submission attempt a few seconds before the horn. And off to the second we go. In which Sage simply took advantage of Pfister’s eagerness to derail his hype train. He grabbed a recklessly exposed neck and cranked on it to submit the hopeful opponent. Now interwebs, let’s ask – what did we learn? Yes, Super Sage can be taken down. He can also defend himself pretty damn well on his back. We learned that he can take a few strikes with stride and reverse the situation. Is he perfect? Far from it. Is he going to be the next big thing? I don’t know. What I do know is that he’s trained by Firas Zahabi. I know he’s young and has a really positive attitude. I guess we know that he has the potential to be a great fighter. Hype train on track. Next stop?… 1 for 2 for the evening.

Jim Miller Vs. Michael Chiesa

One of my sentimental picks. What can I say? I’m a sucker for old school scrappers, and Jim Miller is one of these guys. High skill on the mat, power in both hands and a heart of a lion. The fact that Chiesa was able to finish him, and with a submission to boot, speaks volumes to his credit (Chiesa’s). I only have good words to say about Chiesa and can’t wait to see him face top-level LWs next time around. 1 for 3… en route to a disastrous prediction night…

Paige Vanzant Vs. Rose Namajunas

The night was centered around this fight because, let’s face it. Paige is a very pretty girl who likes to fight. If Dana can only get her to wear a championship belt, he’d be able to overcome the devastation caused earlier this year by Holly Holm. Most of us (admit it folks) fell for this and for some odd reason, Paige came into this fight as the favorite, even though it was Rose who already fought for the belt. There’s no mincing words here gentlemen. Rose completely and thoroughly dominated every second of this fight on her way to a submission victory. I can sing her praise for an hour for a phenomenal performance, but the result speaks for itself. Instead, let’s ask ourselves again – hype train derailed? I say no. I say, the hype train took a detour and will be delayed indefinitely. Because, ladies and gentlemen, I believe that Paige showed us one thing, and this cannot be overstated. Paige has the heart, the physical and mental strength to be a great fighter. She also has time on her side. Very young. With the right coaching and positive attitude, perhaps we can jump aboard this train as it rolls back on the track. Rose, a pretty lady in her own rights will likely face Joanna next and I’m not sure yesterday’s fight is the right one to look at for an early indication. It’s a whole different can of worms. Especially on the striking department. 1 for 4

Oh my god… thank you Super Sage  for preventing a complete disaster (prediction-wise).

All in all it was a very interesting main card and an educating one.

Another card tonight! Don’t blink!


Did You Get A Kick Out of UFC 193?

Hello World,

Oh dear, were my predictions wrong… Not only did I pull a dismal 2 out of 5, but I was also wrong on so many levels, it justified this separate post to discuss the after MMath of UFC193.

Where to start? I guess we’ll take it fight by fight:

Stefan Struve Vs. Josh Rosholt: Not only did I pick the wrong winner, I made the same mistake of many and… actually watched the fight. If you can call it that. Two fighters entered the cage and simply refused to utilize their respective advantage to cause any significant damage… Struve seem to forget he’s about 6 feet taller than everybody else and does not utilize his reach to save his life. Rosholt wouldn’t commit to the ground game even though he took Struve down at will. Nothing happened for 15 min. Well, aside for a growing irritation among the 50K+ Aussies in attendance… 0 for 1.

Uriah Hall Vs. Robert Whittaker: I got a couple of things to say. One for each fighter. We’ll start with the loser. If Uriah Hall wants to be Chuck Lidell and become a great counter striker he needs to add 3 things to his game plan: movement, speed of said movement and some urgency. He can’t expect to have enough time to rack up points, or be effective enough to finish if he only starts engaging a round and a half into a fight. Especially when his opponent thanks him for the lack of movement by repeatedly tagging him and escaping to the safety of center cage. As for the winner. Whittaker came prepared and worked his game plan almost to perfection. That being said, he’s lucky his chin is made of granite and could withstand two lethal head kicks and some really good shots when Hall finally woke up from his slumber. It was a very entertaining fight though, no complaints there. 0 for 2.

Mark Hunt Vs. Antonio Silva: I had a feeling this would end fast and it did. In favor of the right fighter for a change. 1 for 3.

joanna jedrzejczyk (JJ from now on) Vs. Valerie Letourneau: Valerie did what no other could. Go 5 rounds with Joanna. 3 of them very competitive. I even game her round 1. On the other hand, when you have laser guided missiles for punches and elbows, the odds will be in your favor. Joanna is a striker of a different league than any of the ladies in the UFC (Yes, that includes Holm) and I’d argue that it’s among the best overall. That was one hell of a fight. Hardly time to breathe between shots. and the last time I was right for the night. 2 for 4.

NOW.

Let’s take a deep breath before we dive into the main event. The shocker. The kick heard around the world.

Here’s what I tweeted shortly before the fight:

See, like many around the world, it seemed logical to me that Holm could possibly catch Ronda coming in, but like the same many, I thought it very unlikely. I saw Ronda coming in, through Holm’s punches, grabbing a hold, take down, arm bar.

The fight started pretty much as expected. Ronda forcing her way through Holm’s reach. Getting tagged, true, but returning the favor.

The turning point in my book was seeing Holm stand up quickly after the takedown and the botched submission attempt. That’s when I understood this is anything but a standard Rousey title defense. And sho’ enough… it was lights out not long after that.

A lot has already been said about this. Comparisons made to Silva’s first loss to Weidman. To GSP’s loss to Serra. But one thing that I hardly saw reference to was one bearded man from Albuquerque, New Mexico and the man who – I believe – is responsible for this fantastic upset.

How many times did we see Greg Jackson lead a fighter into battle and come out on top? A lot, right? How many times were we witnesses to that man’s pretty awesome MMA strategic brain? Like sending GSP to jab Koscheck nearly to death? Or get in Thiago Alves’s face (“Coach, I think I tore my groin – I don’t care George, just take it and beat him with it!”)?

Ready for some conspiratorial speculations? Let me ask a couple of questions, and you may answer them right here in the comments section if you’re so inclined:

  • What if Greg directed Holm to choose the last time she saw Ronda before the fight to get under her skin?
  • What if Jackson wanted Rousey to come in super-aggressive?
  • What if… What if it was the plan all along to get to the title fight after what is perceived as a sleepy point racking enterprise?
  • What if Greg knew Ronda would sleep on Holm’s power and skill?
  • What if Greg knew that Holm can get up if taken down?
  • What if Jackson told Holm to take Rousey down the first chance she got, to further throw her off-balance?

Do these sound fantastic? Perhaps some of them do… but we’re talking about a man with a plan. A coach that stages a strategy per round, and knows how to adjust when necessary. We’re talking about arguably the best MMA coach in the world. A man who brought us 2 of the all time greatest champions, in addition to many more greatly talented fighters.

To sum this up. That kick shocked the world. But I bet you – Greg Jackson was not surprised. Not one little bit.

That is all for today folks. It was a great card with great entertaining fights. another event where the ladies outplayed the men.

See you just before UFC 194 with another attempt to predict a .500+


UFC 193 – Predictions

Hi everybody!

Here we go! one of two awesome cards (on paper) to close out 2015 is coming up this weekend and I for one, am super excited!

Pretty much all the events leading up to these two (193 and 194) served as appetizers, what with the never-ending UFC promo work during every break… I won’t lie, I’m sold. I especially look forward to one women fight. Oh yeah, a woman champion is involved. She’s a “bad-ass” fighter who looks to destroy her opponents, always moving forward, looking to cause damage and further her career and legacy. I am, of course, referring to… Joanna Jedrzejczyk!

Gotach! 🙂

Bet you were thinking Rousey like most of the population, but while I truly respect Ronda, I find Joanna’s fights more fun to watch. Something about her style perhaps, or the speed with which they take place.

These two women title fights are not all this PPV is about but they are the most hyped (and rightfully so). I will elaborate more when we review the results, but for the moment…

Let the predicting of UFC 193 coming up this Saturday, November 14th on PPV commence. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

StruveVsRosholt

Stefan Struve by TKO

HallVsWhittaker

Uriah Hall by UD

HuntVsSilva1

Mark Hunt by KO

JedrzejczykVsLetourneau

Joanna Jedrzejczyk by TKO

and now! the moment millions of MMA fans have been waiting for, from Melbourne, Australia! This is the main event of the evening!

RouseyVsHolm

Ronda Rousey by Submission

Don’t forget to get back here by Monday morning for the after MMAth!

And of course, don’t forget to watch UFC 193 on PPV – This Saturday, November 14th!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!


UFC 185 – Predictions

Hi there!

Did you guys settle down after Ronda Rousey’s latest title defense? Then saddle up! Cause we’re about to get a main event which includes a guy called “Showtime”, and another person who finished Ben Henderson. Just before this, in the co main, we will have another title fight with two talented ladies (and hopefully 184 showed you these ladies can rumble). Let’s start predicting the results of UFC 185 coming up this Saturday, March 14th on PPV. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

CariasoCejudo

 Chris Cariaso by UD

NelsonOvereem

Alistair Overeem by TKO

HendricksBrown

Johny Hendricks by TKO

EsparzaJedrzejczyk

Carla Esparza by UD

and now! the moment millions of MMA fans have been waiting for, from Dallas Texas! This is the main event of the evening!

PettisDosAnjos

Anthony Pettis by TKO

Don’t forget to get back here by Monday morning for the after MMAth!

And of course, don’t forget to watch UFC 185 on PPV – This Saturday, March 14th!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!

The Morning After:

Oh boy was I WAY off target on this one 🙂 Let’s review how miserably I’ve done and say a few words about each of my shortcomings…

1. Ok, so I went with the known. Did not know Cejudo until last night and well… have been sleeping on a pretty solid fighter who will present a very big problem to any opponent he’ll face. Cejudo’s wrestling is WAY up there, above anyone in his weight class. He has the strength and seems to have enough stamina (well, duh… gold medalist wrestler) to go the distance if necessary. 0 for 1.

2. I was thinking TKO for Overeem and assumed (correctly) that he’d attack the body with vicious knees and kicks, which he executed perfectly. Any lesser man would have been broken after that first round. But this is Big Country we’re talking about, and the man has a heart of a lion! I’m giving myself the full point just because it’s Roy 🙂 1 for 2.

3. He was close twice. Two lefts have landed flush on Browns chin but with less power than we’re used to. Either way, it seems like Johny learned a thing or two from GSP (we will get back to that later), especially not to open himself up with reckless abandon. He completely nullified Brown’s striking and mauled him all over the cage. If Brown hadn’t grabbed the cage twice in key moments (once just before being rag-dolled) and Johny’s shorts on other occasions… Dana White was “not impressed”. Oh well. One does not simply finishes Matt Brown. 1.5 for 3.

4. Ok, no excuses. I do not know this division well enough. Picked Carla for her wrestling but man oh man, is Joanna a scary scary fighter. I’m tempted to say that with the TD defense we saw from her – and against arguably the best wrestler in that division – and striking that is nothing short of phenomenal… A 115 lb Rousey?… 1.5 for 4.

5. Please say it with me – FIGHT.OF.THE.YEAR! Wow. Wow and once again WOW! I gave it to Pettis because I thought his striking was superior. I knew that Dos Anjos had it in him to win though. But what I (or, I suspect, anyone other than RDA’s camp) did not expect was how one sided, decisive and impressive his win would be. Hats off to what I consider one of the most title wins in UFC history. No less. Let’s talk for a second about GSP. People criticized him for not going “all out” in title defenses. I used to respond to that with the argument that it’s up to the challenger to bring it to the champ. It’s the challenger’s fight to win and the champ’s to lose. Well, Rafael Dos Anjos, your NEW LW champion did exactly that. He brought the fight to Pettis. RDA is now only second to Cerrone as my favorite LW 🙂 1.5 for 5 😦

See you just before UFC 186 when I’d do my damnedest to predict over 50% 🙂