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пятница, 19 июня 2009 г.

Hot Summer 2009 MMA Fights to Watch

UFC: Brock Lesnar v Frank Mir, Las Vegas, July 11

There is so much discussion about this on the Internet and so many videos on youtube now. Brock Lesnar is over-hyped, few matches, mediocre record and really he is not even that big. When you look more closely he is not that much bigger than the likes of Josh Barnett and at the same time he is miles behind them in both grappling and boxing technique. His only chance is really using his power, wrestling and applying his ground and pound. And he really has so much power! it is incredible. Visually he looks good at times especially dominating the Frank Mir fight the last time they met.

Frank Mir is actually a strong grappler, a bjj black belt and certainly I think that this is where he should focus. He knows Lesnar's game plan, avoiding exchange of power and looking for openings to submit him. Lesnar has shown that he has the speed and the KO power. His tactic to me seems to get a dominating victory early by KO whether standing or by ground and pound, but if Mir can control Lesnar in the first two or three minutes and take the fight to the ground, this is where he can take advantage of holes in Lesnar's grappling. The knee bar is said to be a relatively easy leg lock to defend (by which Lesnar lost to Mir the last time they fought). It is therefore unknown whether Lesnar has improved at least his submission defense

And Mir is no small guy himself. Both have the same weight (at 265lb) and Lesnar is only 1 cm taller. Practically the same size. Brock just looks like some sort of monster for his size although small compared to real giants like Choi Hong-man weighing in at 330lb and standing tall 7ft 2in (2.18m). No doubt everyone would be interested to see that fight that I hear nearly happened.

Mir says that he is also improving his standup skills. So far it seems to me that Brock prefers not to push for stand-up fighting but he rather work the take-down.

My Prediction: Frank Mir by submission or decision.

Affliction: Fedor Emelianenko v Josh Barnett, Anaheim, California, August 1

UFC is a great organization with many strong fighters. In fact UFC alongside Pride made MMA mainstream in many countries. It is the reason many of us are into MMA and why brazilian jiu jitsu is so popular today.

I have recently been watching over and over Barnett's fights. He looks strong standing but very careful. His last fight with Pedro Rizzo is a good example of this. At the same time as we all know he can be very lethal on the ground, looking very comfortable grappling with the likes of Nogueira who was in fact defending some of those leglocks.

With Fedor I imagine the fight will initially be a standing battle. Fedor I think will be a little more aggressive standing and he really should keep it standing, defending takedown attempts from Barnett. I think strategically for Fedor it would be better to remain standing and once he overcomes Barnett there he should work towards ground and pound. Barnett is probably almost impossible to submit so a standup battle is in his best interests.

For Josh I think his best place is actually on the ground. Working a good takedown and passing the guard. Josh is excellent with leg locks but I think here he should look to secure the cross-mount the same way Mark Hunt did. Controlling Fedor on the ground will be a nightmare too though. Fedor is competing in ADCC this September so I believe his grappling will be world class.

Fedor is my favourite fighter but what I really want is for both fighters to train incredibly hard and put every effort into giving everything for this fight. This fight will go down in history as one of the great fights together with Fedor vs Nogueira and Fedor vs Cro Cop battles. This is the perfect time for their fight. Two great heavyweights at the height of their abilities.

UFC: Anderson Silva v Forrest Griffin, Philadelphia, August 8

Anderson Silva has been named to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world. Nicknamed "The Spider", Anderson's record is 24 victories and 4 defeats holding currently a nine win consecutive winning streak. The current middle heavyweight champion is facing little competition these days and it only seems natural that he moves up to compete against the ex- Light Heavyweight UFC Champion.

Forrest has faced well-rounded fighters in the past like Mauricio Rua but this time he will face a very careful but effective striker in Anderson compared perhaps only to Lyota Machida. Mr. Griffin is looking to change his game away from being a straight brawler. Anderson is an extremely able striker and perhaps the only thing he lacks is real power that many real heavyweights possess. If Forrest can control the fight and work outside Anderson's comfort zone he could stand a good chance. Anderson is tall and normally fights guys that tend to be smaller than him.

This time, Anderson will be facing a very different type of fighter who is able to take a punch and move the fight to the ground using his power to get a win by decision.


UFC: Randy Couture v Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Portland, Oregon, August 29

Randy vs Minotauro fight is a legends fight in mixed martial arts. Two great fighters who need no introduction but this time it will be a very different story. The last time Nogueira fought against Mir, this was a very different fighter. He did not possess that incredible stamina and the will to win we saw in the past. He did not seem to be that dangerous submission grappler that he once was, the fighter that other mma fighters would quickly try to stand up against because they knew their skill was no match for the Minotauro on the ground.

Minotauro seemed worn out and did not give off that incredible energy he had in the past. I don't know whether it was the training, his physical condition or the fight itself. I hope this time it will be the great Minotauro of the past, the great champion of MMA and the man second only to Fedor.

At the same time we have Randy. His physical condition is amazing for his age. He is almost superhuman and his loss was I think partly to his diminishing physical condition. I think he should retire now and certainly after this fight he should no matter what happens. Minotauro by all accounts should win this. In their prime, Minotauro was the superior fighter in my opinion and Randy knew this and this is why he did not wish to fight him in the past. Now however, there is nothing really to lose for Randy. Minotauro needs a convincing win by submission here and I think if he makes the effort and trains as hard as he did in the past he can do it. (mind you Randy is incredibly difficult to submit. He drew with Jacare in a grappling superfight and that is no small feat in itself!)

My prediction is Minotauro wins by decision although truly big Nogueira needs a convincing win if he still does not want to retire. Truly Nogueira is one of my favourite fighters. Fedor respects him very much and he will go down as one of the greatest submission fighters in MMA ever.

I like Randy too though. He is such a nice guy. He is also a very popular fighter despite his record. Great respect to him for fighting this fight and I think he will always be a symbol of what the UFC is and was in the past decade or so.


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