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 192 – Predictions

Hi everybody!

Well, we had a good run of events taking place at a machine gun pace and then… they slowed down a little. Perhaps it’s for the best though. Don’t want to get the fans exhausted… Oh, who am I kidding? Give us more UFC, give us more! 

A good solid card on paper with pretty much no down side. Women fight to open, Title fight to close and three potential crackers in between.

Edit (Friday, October 2nd, 2015): Today it was announced by UFC that Johny Hendricks weight cutting issues resulted in the removal of his fight with Tyron Woodley from the card, and that instead, Woodley will get the next shot at the WW title (once Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit will conclude their epic fight).

Instead of the Hendricks fight, a new one was added to the main card and it is between Joseph Benavidez and Ali Bagautinov. The predictions were modified accordingly.

Let the predicting of UFC 192 coming up this Saturday, October 3rd on PPV commence. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

EyePena

Julianna Pena by TKO

benavidezBagautinov

Joseph Benavidez by TKO

JordanMagomedov

Ruslan Magomedov by UD

BaderEvans

Rashad Evans by UD

 

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

CormierGustafsson

Daniel Cormier 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 192 on PPV – This Saturday, October 3rd!

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% 🙂

UFC 181 Predictions

I’m so looking forward to this one, I was getting ready to watch it last Saturday… You can imagine my face when I realized it wasn’t for another week. CAN’T WAIT!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? 2 title fights, 4 magnificent contenders. BRING IT ON!!! And of course, don’t forget to check back by Monday morning, for some after thoughts.
UFC181Pred

 

The Morning After:

1. What can I say about Tony Ferguson? That he has a granite chin, the heart of a lion? True, true. I was counting on his excellent movement and I have to admit I was worried in the first round, when Trujillo managed to catch him repeatedly (Kudos to that) and rocked him once really bad. But then, Ferguson pressed the “reset” button, adjusted (like a true mixed martial artist) and gave a technical clinic. Blocked the TDs, when he was temporarily taken town – he got up on pure skill, moved his head out of the way, and eventually sunk that sweet choke… I’m taking this point cause a finish is a finish 🙂 1 for 1.
2. This one had a KO written all over it. I went with the unknown to “upset”, but kudos Duffee on a triumphant return to the octagon! 1 for 2.
3. Travis Browne is one of my favorites. Definitely my favorite HW right after the injured true champ. Not much to say except great movement and great decision making, especially on the ground. Did not try to play the submission game with Schaub and elected to pound. 2 for 3.
4. When Pettis kicked Benson Henderson in that unforgettable fight in WEC, I told people not to think that this would be the highlight of his career. Pettis is the real deal. One of the best champions we have. Are you kidding me? submitting Melendez? The 155 was always a very entertaining weight class and title runs were very difficult to maintain. Barring serious surprises, I predict Pettis will have a good one. He’s far, far from over. Taking half a point for the win. 2.5 for 4.
5. Oh well, I’m not sure in which universe that decision is right… but I’ll take it. Henrdicks did everything right. in my books it was at the very least 48-47 Hendricks (2,3,4). I already saw the comparisons to GSP and they were in place, except… GSP never held on to a single leg for a full round like Johny did in the 5th… But other than that Johny had the fight in his pocket. 3.5 for 5.
If you happened to watch MMA for the first time last night, I allow myself to count you as new fans 🙂 1 decision (and a controversial one at that) and 4 nice finishes. Skills, heart, the whole package. This event ROCKED! See you on UFC182.

Highlights (Credit: MMA Weekly)

Wanna tell me something? Go ahead, right down here.

A Puncher’s Chance (Part 1 of 2)

Hello everyone. Happy you could make it 🙂

On today’s agenda two men, both will weight 170 lbs on November 15th.

I’m referring of course to Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks and Georges “Rush” Saint-Pierre. The Challenger and the UFC Welterweight champion respectively.

On Saturday, Nov 16th at around 11:30 PM to Midnight, these two will do battle inside the octagon and at the end of this fight, one of two things will happen. Either the seemingly inevitable GSP win, or the punch that would shock the world.

Ok, after I grossly oversimplified the situation, let me elaborate.

The first part of this discussion will focus on the champion. The next one will be for the challenger.

Georges Saint-Pierre (GSP) is the reigning 2 times UFC WW champion ever since he beat Matt Serra in a rematch way back in April 2008. That’s right. 5 and a half years ago.

What happened since then? Well, GSP’s record is (Wikipedia.org):

  • Second most consecutive title defenses in the UFC history (8) – Second to Anderson Silva.
  • Most successful title defenses in the UFC Welterweight division (8)
  • Most consecutive title defenses in the UFC Welterweight division (8)

List of notable victims: BJ Penn, Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit

How he does it?

I will not go into the endless debate surrounding GSP. I covered this piece on a different post. I want to talk about what makes GSP such a dominant champion. For an MMA fan, this might be stating the obvious, but it’s worth saying because a) not everyone is a fan and b) If it was that obvious, others would do the same, no?

So, it begins with one main quality. GSP has the work ethic to go the distance (no pun intended). Starting MMA with good Karate is nice. Not enough to win a belt though. So GSP went to work on filling his arsenal. BJJ (Black belt), Wrestling (Training with Olympic wrestlers), Boxing (Working with Freddie Roach among others), Muay Thai (Working with Firas Zahabi and Phil Nurse) and as it became plain to see – conditioning and athleticism (Again, Olympic gymnasts).

Another layer of GSP’s ability is his work with Greg Jackson MMA. Some people have a lot to say about Jackson, but the fact remains, he is a master tactician. GSP didn’t retain his title for so long without a) knowing exactly what he was  going to do in each round, b) being able to implement and no less important, c) Having Jackson to adjust on the fly.

So, Ever improving skill set, work ethic, tactics and guidance. Add to this a drive to leave a legacy behind and commitment to do whatever it takes and what do you have? Yes, the most dominant fighter and champion in Welterweight history. One of the widely held top 3 P4P (we’ll talk about this later) fighters in the world, Oh, and a pretty nice person too.

Why would GSP win this fight?

  • Because he’s much more well-rounded than his opponent. Even his striking (where Hendricks might feel he has the advantage) is better technically. Cleaner, crisper style.
  • Because GSP’s takedowns are legendary. And his takedown defense is superb.
  • Because GSP wrestled wins out of wrestlers, stroke strikers to a bloody pulp and in general showed superiority to most his opponents.
  • Because GSP can fight 5 intensive rounds and so far there’s no indication Hendricks can do so for 3.
  • Because if there’s something GSP is excellent at, it’s… not getting hit as much.
  • Because the game plan is simple – circle away from the power bomb and then be GSP.

Remember folks, check back next week for part 2, in which we will discuss Johny Hendricks and… Yes, I will put my (virtual) money on a winner.

In the meantime, let me know if you agree, or if you’d like to comment on this upcoming fight!

and of course – TUNE IN TO UFC 167 – NOV 16, 10 PM ET

Until next time