Saturday, August 28, 2010

UFC 118 Predictions

"The Prodigy" BJ Penn (15-6-1) vs Frankie Edgar (12-1-0) 

I don't even consider this the main event but more of a desert after the main course.  I love BJ Penn and I really want him to kill Frankie Edgar as no man named Frankie should ever be champion of anything.  The last fight was indecisive and was more about Edgar running away then actually fighting.

In all of his interviews BJ seemed real pissed off and was talking his usual smack but his heart just didn't seem into it.  The guy has been fighting for most of his life and I don't know if he wants to do it anymore.  His recent book has caused friction between himself and the UFC and if he loses a 2nd fight to Edgar will he really want to climb the ladder to become champion again?  I hope that isn't the case but you never know BJ has been known to throw in the towel before, HIYOOO

If BJ loses the lightweight division could become like the light heavyweight division with a revolving door of champions.  Frankie might get by BJ but Gray Maynard, if he wins, poses a whole new problem and let's say Florian wins I could see Kenny beating Frankie no problem.

Just like going into the last fight I see no way in which BJ loses.  He is far superior on the ground and his stand up is better.  Edgar may be faster but BJ will be more prepared for him this time, I hope.  Look for BJ to try an take him to the ground at some point and not just stand in the middle of the Octagon spinning in place as Edgar circles him like a vulture over a dead animal.


Prediction: Penn via TKO





James "Lights Out" Toney vs Randy "The Natural" Couture (18-10-0) 

Oh baby.  This is the fight I have been waiting for.  James Toney makes his MMA debut against a 47 year old that has made a career out of beating the crap out of people that were supposed to kill him.  It's boxing vs MMA, white vs black, wrestler vs striker, senior citizen vs pretty much senior citizen, classy vs trash talking degenerate.  Its a match-up for the ages.

Randy Couture has 0 chance in this fight and I will tell you why.  James Toney is a two sport athlete that trains with his dad and King Mo Mousasi.  Seriously though people need to not sleep on Toney.  This guy is a phenomenal athlete that has looked better and better in every piece of footage I've seen him in.  He looks to be in great shape and all it takes is 1 punch and the fights over.

Couture likes to dirty box and try and push people up against the cage but if he does that against Toney he could be in trouble.  Josh Acheson's thoughts on Couture's dirty boxing, "man if he tries that shit Toney will hit him with 1 mean uppercut and it's over."  The longer this fight goes the more Toney has a chance to pull off the victory.

Having said that Couture might just bull rush Toney and put him on his back and pound him out in 45 seconds.  But he seems to want to hurt Toney and has said he plans to leg kick him,  Not a smart move.  I am pulling for Toney only because I wanna hear his victory speech.

Prediction: Toney via KO


Demian Maia (12-2-0) vs Mario Miranda (12-1-0) 

This was supposed to be Maia versus Alan Belcher but Belcher suffered an injury to his retina and was forced to pull out.  Enter Mario Miranda aka Ensign Ricky.  This guy is going to be get tapped so violently and beautifully that he might thank Maia afterward for allowing him to be a part of the whole ordeal.

Seriously though this Miranda guy is a nobody.  he is 12-1 but has never beaten anyone of note and his strength just happens to be ju-jitsu which also happens to be the strength of Maia.  Too bad for Miranda Damien Maia is the best ju-jitsu practitioner in MMA. 

Maiai hasn't fought since that embarrassing display he put up against Anderson Silva back in April so no doubt he will be looking to come out and impress.  He doesn't want to become another Thales Laites.  As long as he does what he always does and gets this fight to the ground he will be good.  Maybe he will pull off the armbar/triangle submission that I have dubbed the "Double Rainbow."

If Maia doesn't come home with Miranda's arm in his suitcase then consider this a loss.

Prediction:  Maia via Submission


Kenny "Ken-Flo" Florian (14-4-0) vs Gray "The Bully" Maynard (10-0-1) 

This fight is fascinating for the following reasons:

1) Kenny Floiran destroys everyone that isn't a title holder.  Since joining the UFC (I am excluding the finale of the Ultimate Fighter Season 1) he has lost only twice.  Once to Sean Sherk, for the lightweight title, and once to BJ Penn, also for the lightweight title. 

He has wins over guys like Roger Huerta, Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson and Takanori Gomi but he has never faced a wrestler like Gray Maynard.  Yeah Joe Stevenson has a wrestling background but he isn't on the same level as Maynard.

2) Florian's future in the UFC could very well come down to this fight.  He is already 34 and if he loses to Maynard he will have to win at least 2 or 3 more fights before getting another title shot and at that point he may be too old.  Florian has always been the second banana in the lightweight division and his career hangs in the balance tonight.

3) Can Florian finish Maynard?  So far in his 10 career fights Maynard has gone to the judges score cards 7 times including 6 fights in a row.  He always talk trash about how he has big punches but he never finishes anybody.

Conversely all Kenny Florian does is finish fights.  He has gone to the score cards only 3 rimes in his 18 fight career and whether he wins or loses the guy puts on an entertaining fight.

I have always been a huge Florian fan and I think he is one of, if not, the smartest fighters in all of Mixed Martial Arts.  He always has a great gameplan and he has been training with GSP lately to improve his wrestling so I think he will pull this out.  Maynard won't finish him so Kenny doesn't have to worry about that and he showed in the Gomi fight that his stand up has greatly improved.  I wanna see Kenny uses those elbows to smash up Gray and then rip on him for having a tramp stamp.

The fact that the fight will be in Boston aka Florian's home town should also give him an advantage as the crowd will surely be on his side.

Prediction:  Florian via TKO




Nate Diaz (12-5-0) vs Marcus 'The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis (17-1-2) 

How did we end up here?  Both these guys were once promising fighters but have run into a string of losses that have pushed them far down the pecking order in the UFC.

After starting his UFC career with 5 straight wins Nate Diaz ran into some tough competition and has gone 2-3 in his last 5 fights and is no longer fighting at lightweight but has stepped up to 170lbs.  In his last fight against Rory Markham he looked impressive as he imposed his will on the feet and hit Markham about 678 times in the span of 3 minutes.  If Diaz can bring the same swarming striking style to this fight he might be alright.

Remember when people thought Marcus Davis might be a contender for the welterweight title?  I do.  Then Dan Hardy worked him over and Ben Saunders (no longer with the UFC) kneed him into irrelevancy.  Davis has lost 2 of his last 3 fights and looks to be made of glass.  He hasn't evolved with the sport as other fighters have and he's also a "fake Irishman" so that's working against him too.  
Nate has a great reach advantage and a better ground game.  Davis still possesses knockout out power but his T-rex arms will make it hard to land any punches.

Prediction:  Diaz via Decision



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