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пятница, 19 февраля 2010 г.

UFC 110 Feb 21 Preview: Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro vs Cain Velasquez

UFC 110 which will take place this Saturday 21 Feb is one of the most exciting UFC events we have had for a while, at least since Nogueira took care of Randy Couture in a very memorable epic match that made 2009. For the first time we have a very solid card with some big names in the HW and LHW division. Lets take a look at the card:

  • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez
  • Michael Bisping vs. Wanderlei Silva
  • George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Stevenson
  • Ryan Bader vs. Keith Jardine
  • Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Ben Rothwell
  • Chris Haseman vs. Elvis Sinosic
  • Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
  • Brian Foster vs. Chris Lytle
  • C.B. Dollaway vs. Goran Reljic
  • Igor Pokrajac vs. James Te Huna

What makes this PPV worth the money is of course Nogueira fighting Velasquez for me. Big Nog has gone through so much over the years, taking on the very best and being really defeated only in the single match with Mir which I think he should not have gone in to due to his staph infection. 

Many question Big Nog's ability to take on the young talent that is rapidly emerging in the UFC HW division and I think that the talent pool that is being created really is worth considering. Cain Velasquez is a prime example. The guy has amazing physical characteristics coupled with great wrestling abilities. I predict Big Nog to prevail for several reasons but certainly Velasquez is a very serious opponent and a threat. The main reason is that Nog is so much more versatile. He has proven already that he can fight great wrestlers like Dan Henderson. If Nog can stay in control of the fight and take advantage of the many weaknesses that Velasquez does have in his one-dimensional game, the fight will be in the bag for him. The physical abilities of Velasquez are impressive however and Nog will need to be in the best pysical condition he can be. Nog should keep the fight standing if possible.

Talking about some of the other fights. The other big draws are Wanderlei vs Bisping. This is a classic fight of two respectable fighters that are not really at the top of the LHW division in the UFC but still can put up a good fight. Both have huge fan bases and you have to love both of these guys. I really feel that Wanderlei and Randy Couture are just stars no matter where they are in the rankings. Both should fight each other for the hell of it, neither should feature in a headline fight though as their time is gone.

The rest of the card looks also quite interesting. You have Cro Cop trying to get back in the game for probably the last time fighting "Big" Ben Rothwell. Rothwell really would not have a chance against Mirko of old. I still bet on Mirko to win this match but the way Cro Cop has been fighting recently it is difficult to predict the outcome especially if it goes to the ground.

Joe Stevenson is a fighter that I always love to watch. The bjj black belt under Robert Drysdale has an awesome guillotine choke and being a great fan of bjj and judo myself, I love his style in MMA. Look forward to this one.

Jardine vs Bader is a matchup that is still solid. As Jardine continues to slide down the MMA rankings, this is his chance to keep his UFC career intact. Bader is no pushover though. Undefeated in his MMA career so far, he could present a decent challenge for Jardine who's unorthodox MMA skills are well-known. Lets see what Jardine, "the strange man", has to offer. 

среда, 17 февраля 2010 г.

Brock Lesnar is Back

Brock Lesnar after falling seriously ill is back. The man has lost a ton of weight but is eager to come back to the gym and face any challenger in the UFC Heavyweight division. 

After becoming one of the fastest rising stars in the UFC over the last two years, the MMA world was shocked to learn that the UFC Heavyweight Champion has fallen seriously ill and that his career may be over. Challengers have been queing up for the Interim title almost by the dozen. You have guys like Cain Valasquez, Shane Carwin (originally scheduled to challenge Lesnar), Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro. All very worth challengers who are set to battle for the interim title instead. 

After these guys go about their business, the UFC has still some strong fighters like Gabriel Gonzaga and Junior Dos Santos. JDS in particular has shown that he is up to to the task. A prodigy of Minotauro, he has stepped up and taken on Cro Cop, Fabricio Werdum and Gilbert Yvel in an impressive string of victories. He has also KOed Stefan Struve, a scary striker from Holland standing at 211cm. 

After taking surgery, Lesnar is now scheduled for return in mid-July. Carwin vs Mir will decide who the top dog will be before that and of course if there is a delay the winner will face the winner between Big Nog and Valasquez. 

So much speculation about the guys illness has erupted after the Brock Lesnar sensation taking UFC by storm and conquering the title only after 2-3 fights in the octagon. Such a path is ridiculous but as everyone knows, Lesnar is no ordinary fighter. The guy has a monster physique, incredibly talented athlete and the guy has basically brought WWE to the UFC which has never really happened before. No one has ever seen a guy as fast, strong and at the same as good a wrestler as Lesnar, and of course his fans say that he is the new breed of heavyweight and is unbeatable. 

Critics are less excited. Skill-wise, Brock is less than average with no real striking skill or any submissions. His main goal is to overpower the opponent with wrestling and strength and then deliver nasty hammer fist action on the head of his opponent. So far it has worked fine, but of course there is still a lot of competition both in the UFC and elsewhere i.e. Strikeforce where many believe works the best fighter in the world and in the history of MMA. His name is Fedor. He is not that athletic or muscular and represents something almost completely the opposite to Brock. He is calm and relies on amazing technique, combining mainly boxing and sambo to deliver an unbeaten streak of more than 30 fights. 

The two may never meet as Fedor and the UFC don't seem to be able to come to terms, but if they do some time soon, that is something to look out for. Meanwhile, the mma fans are still happy to see both giants in action who still have decent competition at both organizations. Fedor has had less competition in Strikeforce but then maybe the guy is thinking to retire and does not need to do much these days since he has proven everything already.