Re: UFC Discussion
One thing about Jardine is he has, maybe next to only Wilson Gouveia, the nastiest leg kicks in the light heavyweight division. The one thing that gives Jardine a chance is if he gets a chance to work over Liddell's bad wheels with those kicks. I don't even know when the last time Chuck himself threw a kick in a fight was, because his knees are so bad now. On the other hand, throwing leg kicks also opens you up for a counterpuncher, which is how Liddell primarily destroys people when he's on so I'm sure Jardine will be weary of that.
Again, newer fans to the sport probably won't see Shogun at his best as they've missed with some of the other PRIDE fighters coming over since the consolidation, as I think Shogun with soccer kicks and stomps is the most FEROCIOUS fighter on the planet. Without them, but with elbows legal in UFC, he's still very dangerous. You never know these days with how things turn out, but talent-wise, on paper, he should easily dispatch Forrest Griffin.
Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck may get all the notoriety, but there's another top-level wrestler in the welterweight division, and it's Jon Fitch. He certainly has the capability to neutralize Diego Sanchez and control his way to a decision win. Only thing is Fitch had some trouble getting caught in guillotine and anaconda chokes in his last fight against Roan Carneiro while performing takedowns and barely escaped the chokes, and while Carneiro is a higher-level jiujitsu artist than Sanchez, Diego has the big fight experience on Carneiro, strength and I agree that he's gonna be hungry following the loss to Koscheck. Perhaps feeding fuel to his fire is that Fitch is Koscheck's primary training partner at AKA.
Kazuhiro Nakamura is a top-level judoka under the tutelage of Hidehiko Yoshida. He's a top ten light heavyweight in the world, and still pretty underrated despite that, as he was always lost in the PRIDE 205 class amongst Wanderlei Silva, Shogun, Rampage, Ricardo Arona, Rogerio "Lil' Nog" Nogueira, Alistair Overeem, etc. This has decision written all over it, as Lyoto Machida has an uncanny ability to completely pick someone apart on the feet, but not quite finish them, while Nakamura has a great takedown and position-control game. I'll take Machida by decision.
Tyson Griffin-Thiago Tavares is a phenomenal fight on paper. This could be Tyson's third straight fight of the year candidate in 2007 (joining his split decision loss to Frankie Edgar and split decision win over Clay Guida). I really, really, really like this fight, and the pay-per-view price will be worth it to me for this one. Tavares is the real deal, pretty much "Little Vitor" down to physical resemblence in addition to the fighting style. I am having a tough time picking this, but I'll take Griffin on a hunch by superior conditioning and control due to his top-notch wrestling to give Tavares his first career loss.
On the undercard, I'll take:
Scott Junk by KO over Christian Wellisch
Jeremy Stephens by KO over Diego Saraiva
Matt Wiman by TKO over Michihiro Omigawa
Rich Clementi by sub over Anthony Johnson