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Thread: UFC Discussion

  1. #46
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Javy Pornstache View Post
    While I still think that the pure time of the training camp matters, there is a HUGE difference in the Olympic-style training camp with all the specialists that St. Pierre is taking part in, versus Matt Hughes throwing down some mats on a basketball court while waiting for his gym to be completed (as earlier discussed in this thread). He's not even training with the Militech crew for this without his gym being open. It could work against Georges, too - Hughes could just be winding down his training (the most intense training is generally over a couple weeks before the fight) while St. Pierre has taken a crash course Olympic style camp to get ready for this.
    The progression of the sport has been amazing. St. Pierre, essentially, has mobilized Canada for his training. The rapid advancement has caught some gyms by surprise. Miletich and Team Quest were state of the art not too long ago and now they're really struggling. Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture, to their credit, have stayed ahead of the curve.

    Expect top level boxing instruction to become the next big thing in training. If you're going to collect black belts and get Olympic-level wrestling training, then you'd probably be wise to spend some time learning from Buddy McGirt too, just to keep your bases covered.

    It's creating a real interesting landscape. The post-TUF 1 explosion has left the Pride stable in the dirt. Maybe those guys were better five years ago, but they've been lapped since then. Everyone's more mobile, striking has become faster and more direct, transitions come from nowhere (just ask Jared Rollins), the quality of defense has taken quantum leaps (Chuck Liddell made it to the top thanks to his sprawl as much as his striking).

    The progression has blown apart the UFC's attempts at establishing the Hughes/Franklin/Liddell/Arlovski pantheon. The sport's accelerated past those guys for the most part. Silva, GSP and possibly B.J. Penn look like the new pantheon and don't be surprised if by 2009 or 2010 that they've been eclipsed by a new wave. I think Forrest vs. Rampage is going to be an eye-opener for a lot of folks. Everyone's thinking Rampage is going over in that one, but who has he beaten? He took out Liddell, who's on the downside, and then he beat Pride's Dan Henderson. Meanwhile Griffin's about as well-rounded a fighter as you can find and he beat the absolute best Pride had to offer in Shogun Rua (who, not coincidentally, once stomped Rampage). Just a guess, but Griffin, Evans, Machida and Jardine might the real class of the light heavyweight division. IMO, the jury's still out on whether Jackson can hang with post-revolution fighters. We may learn a lot from Silva vs. Henderson. If Silva puts Henderson to sleep, something Rampage couldn't do, then look for Forrest to pick apart the champ.

    MMA's had a Jack Johnson moment, where the overall skill level has vaulted forward. The entire way people fight has changed. I suggest Fedor Emelianenko keep his reputation sterling by steering far clear of the UFC. The heavyweight division has been the slowest to react to the changes in the sport, but it might only take a year to catch up.
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  3. #47
    The Latin Heartthrob
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    Very nice post, M2, and I agree with the most of it. There are definitely more and more fighters taking up residence in boxing gyms just recently, in the last six months or so, training with top-level boxers. I've long thought that it would be a smart thing to do, but a lot are hesitant to, for whatever reason. More seem to be bucking that thought lately, though.

    As far as the new era in fighting... there has certainly been a change in MMA fights over the last year or so compared to how it's been. Longtime fans of the sport will note that it's very cyclical in what the dominating facet of the game is, it's like a different era takes over every several years or so. The one thing that's stuck in my head about why the highly-decorated international fighters, and certainly PRIDE fighters in particular, are struggling so much when fighting in the States, especially against younger guys they're perceived to easily defeat, is the fact that WRESTLING is the particular part of the game that seems underdeveloped to a lot of these guys.

    I'm not painting a wide brush and saying every fighter in PRIDE has deficient wrestling skills, but the most occuring theme in some of these upsets to me has been how the favorite has been controlled and position-dominated in these fights. Gabriel Gonzaga is known as a jiujitsu guy primarily (and will forever be known as a striker for good or bad due to the head kick KO of Cro Cop) but his wrestling is also top-notch and that's what he used to dominate Mirko to set up the finish. Forrest Griffin played the control game with Shogun Rua perfectly. It's happened in many other instances as well. I think more than any other aspect of mixed martial arts, wrestling for MMA is levels above here in the States (not to discount the success of pure amateur wrestling in other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East and Eastern Europe, neither of which have a particularly strong presence in the sport of MMA).

    Regarding the Rampage-Forrest thing... knowing how things have been upside-down lately as a result of all this, I wouldn't be shocked to see Griffin pull the upset. But at the same time, I still wouldn't expect it. As M2 was saying, some guys have fallen behind the curve in training in today's MMA it seems - however, Quinton Jackson is not one of them. His camp is eons better today than it was even a year ago. Juanito Barrera is putting an awesome camp together out west and Rampage is the focal point of it. Rampage, incidentally, is one of the guys who DOES train with pure boxers, most notably, Shane Moseley. And 'MMAth', as we like to call it, often doesn't mean anything - Fighter A beat Fighter B and Fighter B beat Fighter C, so Fighter A naturally could beat Fighter C. It works that way a lot, but not always. Shogun did handle Rampage, due to Rampage's inability to defend the Thai clinch. Then again, I'm sure Randy Couture is well aware of this, and the Thai clinch will be fully worked on in the Xtreme Couture sessions with Forrest leading up to the fight.

  4. #48
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    And, just for fun, here's some random fantasy bookings:

    Heavyweight - Brock Lesnar (if he beats Frank Mir convincingly) vs. Andre Arlovski

    Supposedly Arlovski has one fight left on his deal with the UFC and then he's off to fight Emilianenko. If Lesnar looks like the real thing, then feed him the former champ.

    Light Heavyweight - Rashad Evans vs. Chuck Liddell

    Winner gets a title crack at the Rampage-Forrest victor.

    Middleweight - Mike Bisping vs. Martin Kampmann

    This division needs a great fight and these two could provide it.

    Welterweight - Josh Koscheck vs. Matt Hughes

    As close as you can get to a true professional wrestling match.

    Lightweight - B.J. Penn vs. Floyd Mayweather

    Mark Cuban says Mayweather would try MMA for a mega payday, well Penn's just the guy to give it to him. Boxer vs. jiu jitsu freakazoid with the unofficial title of "best fighter in the world" up for grabs. Cuban would surely want to own the action on the fight, but he's got no opponents for Mayweather in that weight class. The UFC owns the lightweight division. If Mayweather isn't just goofing around, and he probably is, then this is the fight and the UFC is the only body that can stage it properly (venue, promotion, legitimacy of sanctioning body). In fact, this could be the bout that puts MMA inside Madison Square Garden, cracking it open to an even wider audience. Cuban's promotion can try to make money on the ensuing windfall in the sport.
    Last edited by M2; 12-31-2007 at 01:51 AM.
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  5. #49
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Javy Pornstache View Post
    The one thing that's stuck in my head about why the highly-decorated international fighters, and certainly PRIDE fighters in particular, are struggling so much when fighting in the States, especially against younger guys they're perceived to easily defeat, is the fact that WRESTLING is the particular part of the game that seems underdeveloped to a lot of these guys.
    Excellent observation. Jake O'Brien basically laid out the blueprint for how to make a Pride fighter look silly when he took apart Heath Herring. Not coincidentally, Rampage probably had the best wrestling skills in the Pride stable.

    I also think the cage in combination with the wrestling is a problem for a lot of the Pride guys. They get lost once they're pinned against the fence and they don't understand how to position themselves in relation to the cage when they're on the ground.

    Then eliminate a few shortcuts on which they've come to rely (no stomps, no knees to the head of a downed opponent) and you've got some throughly confused fighters. They're going for one-shot knockouts because they've got nothing else.

    Fair point about MMAth, though I think Silva may demystify Dan Henderson's chin, opening some minds to the possibility that Griffin might be able to take similar punishment from Jackson while being able to fire back with a much better arsenal.
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  6. #50
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    And, just for fun, here's some random fantasy bookings:

    Heavyweight - Brock Lesnar (if he beats Frank Mir convincingly) vs. Andre Arlovski

    Supposedly Arlovski has one fight left on his deal with the UFC and then he's off to fight Emilianenko. If Lesnar looks like the real thing, then feed him the former champ.

    Light Heavyweight - Rashad Evans vs. Chuck Liddell

    Winner gets a title crack at the Rampage-Forrest victor.

    Middleweight - Mike Bisping vs. Martin Kampmann

    This division needs a great fight and these two could provide it.

    Welterweight - Josh Koscheck vs. Matt Hughes

    As close as you can get to a true professional wrestling match.

    Lightweight - B.J. Penn vs. Floyd Mayweather

    Mark Cuban says Mayweather would try MMA for a mega payday, well Penn's just the guy to give it to him. Boxer vs. jiu jitsu freakazoid with the unofficial title of "best fighter in the world" up for grabs. Cuban would surely want to own the action on the fight, but he's got no opponents for Mayweather in that weight class. The UFC owns the lightweight division. If Mayweather isn't just goofing around, and he probably is, then this is the fight and the UFC is the only body that can stage it properly (venue, promotion, legitimacy of sanctioning body). In fact, this could be the bout that puts MMA inside Madison Square Garden, cracking it open to an even wider audience. Cuban's promotion can try to make money on the ensuing windfall in the sport.
    Some nice ideas. My take:

    Heavyweight: Ordinarily, you have the green guy to MMA facing the former champion, the once-thought indestructible monster, so naturally Arlovski by destruction, right? But you know what? According to our discussion about the wrestlers dominating right now, although Arlovski is an experienced UFC fighter with a good sambo background, I could totally see Lesnar taking him down and holding him to a three-round decision win. Provided he doesn't get tagged in the chin with a knee or punch and KO'ed before scoring a takedown.

    Light Heavyweight: Liddell takes this. Evans is a good, young wrestler, but I don't see him being able to take Liddell down, and Evans has been stung by punches by far lesser strikers, although to his credit, hasn't been stopped by one yet. For my money, Evans is still a ways from facing the upper-tier fighters of the division, though he certainly has fantastic upside, possibly more than any other up-and-coming 205er in the UFC. I would prefer to see Evans take on another guy taking off in Thiago Silva, whereas Liddell should face Machida in a top contender's (or at least #2 contender's) bout. Perhaps Evans facing a rising striker such as Sokoudjou or Houston Alexander would be the way to go if you wanted to test him for a future fight with Liddell. There's so much going on in this division. If, in my booking, Liddell-Machida and Evans-Thiago, I'd also like Wanderlei to fight Houston Alexander. Shogun Rua and Tito Ortiz seem to be having a war of words, and a nice chance for one of the big names to get a major win and back on track. That would leave Keith Jardine and Thierry Sokoudjou to be perhaps an interesting matchup to occupy all the top 10 light heavyweights in the UFC.

    Middleweight: I like this fight a lot and think Kampmann's kickboxing skills would be too much for Bisping, who should fit in much better in this weight class; unfortunately, Kampmann will be sidelined for a while yet with a pretty severe knee injury, so it may be a while yet. I know he was right in the thick of the middleweight title picture (originally slated to face Rich Franklin in a top contender's bout earlier in the year before getting injured; that was the fight Yushin Okami instead took with Franklin). Speaking of Okami, rumors suggest he will be facing the returning Evan Tanner at UFC 82 in Columbus on March 1st. That should be a heck of a bout, and the winner of that will be the only viable top contender to the Silva-Henderson winner, at this time.

    (For the record, I agree that Silva will put away Hendo. Henderson is a phenomenal wrestler, which could work strongly to his advantage against Anderson, yet he tends to ALWAYS stand and trade these days, as he's fallen in love with his overhand right.)

    Welterweight: Very interesting fight. To me, Koscheck is the best pure wrestler on the UFC roster and I think he can control Hughes unlike anyone else in the division - with the obvious exception of Georges St. Pierre. Wouldn't be shocked to see Koscheck get the hallmark win of his career here should this fight happen. I think they will still get a payday out of Hughes-Serra before all is said and done, so there may be time for Hughes to have one more fight before that one, since Serra will likely be out till April before unifying the 170 belts with GSP.

    Lightweight: I don't buy that this is anything more than a publicity stunt by Floyd Mayweather, seeing that he is a shameless self-promoter, and is very good friends with Mark Cuban and told him he'd help him get the word out about HDNet Fights - well, I'd say this is a good way. In the unlikely event that something does come out of it, maybe he wants a more competitive challenge, I think BJ handles him with ease. Agreed though that HDNet Fights should NOT be the avenue to showcase Mayweather should this actually happen.
    Last edited by Javy Pornstache; 12-31-2007 at 02:21 AM.

  7. #51
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Javy Pornstache View Post
    (For the record, I agree that Silva will put away Hendo. Henderson is a phenomenal wrestler, which could work strongly to his advantage against Anderson, yet he tends to ALWAYS stand and trade these days, as he's fallen in love with his overhand right.)
    If Dan Henderson is as stubborn as Rich Franklin against Silva, I'll be a wee bit unhappy.

    I've always thought Franklin had a good chance to beat Silva if he utilized his wrestling advantage (basically everyone has a wrestling advantage over Silva), took Silva down, gained points on position and applied some ground'n pound. But Franklin was stubborn in thinking he could strike with Silva both times, and each time he got his face restructured. If Dan Henderson fights the logically smart fight by using his massive wrestling advantage, then I can easily see him beating Silva. But if Dan Henderson gets stubborn and thinks he can strike with Silva, I don't think he has much of a chance ... same as Franklin.

    Silva's weakness by far is his wrestling; why his opponents - other than Lutter - aren't trying to exploit that, I have no idea. Lutter didn't make weight in his Silva fight and looked like he was about ready to pass out before the fight even started, but even in that condition he nearly stopped Silva. Then he gassed way too easily from dehydration in trying to make weight and got caught in a sub to end the fight.
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  8. #52
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    I tend to think that Rampage is a guy who has just improved a lot since his younger days. His all around game is better and I still can't see Forrest beating him.

    You guys have mentioned Shogun Rua a few times. He's someone who still interests me a great deal. I was altogether surprised to see Forrest beat him like he did. Perhaps I'm making excuses for him, but Rua's conditioning just looked completely pathetic. I thought he won the first round of that fight. He lost the second round as he got more tired and then just looked exhausted in the third and got dismantled. I hold out hope that he will rebound and display some of his Pride dominance. I would be fascinated by a rematch of him and Rampage at this point.

  9. #53
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    ^^^ You're correct on Rampage, I agree with that. As far as veterans that've been around a while, he's improved his game as much as anyone in some time.

    While some of the so-called huge upsets to some folks in 2007 were only mildly surprising to me (Gonzaga over Cro Cop, O'Brien over Herring) or not the least bit surprising at all to me (Couture over Sylvia, Rampage over Liddell), some others were shocking and Forrest beating Shogun was almost as a big an upset to me as Serra over St. Pierre. Shogun was in HORRENDOUS shape for that fight. Alongside his non-conditioning, he also looked ridiculously soft for 205, to the point of where fighting at 185 would look like a real possibility, though it's nothing that I would expect. There was some talk that he had some kind of bad illness that had to do with his horrible shape and lack of cardio, so maybe that explains it. Or maybe he just took Forrest (and more importantly, his coaching at Xtreme Couture) lightly, and got owned. Either way, here's hoping he bounces back strong in 2008. He should be fighting here within the next 2-3 months... I think Tito Ortiz or Keith Jardine are the most likely opponents.

  10. #54
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    M2 also mentioned Fedor. I thought it was a crying shame they couldn't work something out with the UFC. He'd be fun to watch and add needed fame to the heavyweight division. Have you guys seen his latest fight?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sfCuHsxLuLM

  11. #55
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by halcyon View Post
    M2 also mentioned Fedor. I thought it was a crying shame they couldn't work something out with the UFC. He'd be fun to watch and add needed fame to the heavyweight division. Have you guys seen his latest fight?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sfCuHsxLuLM
    The Japanese like crazy matchups, and they got one there. Choi is a kickboxer with pretty much zero BJJ defense, and it showed there with two arm bars in around a minute.
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  12. #56
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    I would definitely liked to have seen a Fedor vs. Couture matchup it's a real shame that they couldn't get Fedor signed. As much as I like Randy's skill, intelligence and experience I think Emilianenko would be a bit much physically for even him. But stranger things have happened (Serra over GSP would be one of those).
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  13. #57
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    The Japanese like crazy matchups, and they got one there. Choi is a kickboxer with pretty much zero BJJ defense, and it showed there with two arm bars in around a minute.
    Choi reminds me of the Chinese version of Sylvia. My god he might make Sylvia look small. But alas as with most guys of that size he isn't quite agile, quick enough for the smaller foe.
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  14. #58
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    I would definitely liked to have seen a Fedor vs. Couture matchup it's a real shame that they couldn't get Fedor signed. As much as I like Randy's skill, intelligence and experience I think Emilianenko would be a bit much physically for even him. But stranger things have happened (Serra over GSP would be one of those).
    That post is exactly why Fedor should stay far away from the UFC. He can be an "insider" legend beating up on sub-UFC talents. Couture's been in the epicenter of the sport's progression. He's seeing stuff in the gym, from moves to raw speed and power, that Fedor's never experienced. My guess is Couture would push the pace, get Emilianenko to gas and then rip through him.
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  15. #59
    The Latin Heartthrob
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    ^^^ Correct. Couture by fence-pinning relentless wrestler's aggression.

  16. #60
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    Re: UFC Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    That post is exactly why Fedor should stay far away from the UFC. He can be an "insider" legend beating up on sub-UFC talents. Couture's been in the epicenter of the sport's progression. He's seeing stuff in the gym, from moves to raw speed and power, that Fedor's never experienced. My guess is Couture would push the pace, get Emilianenko to gas and then rip through him.
    I wouldn't be so quick to assume that. 1st off you assume that father time will continue to be nice to "the natural", at some point that will no longer be the case, and it could happen at any time. 2nd Fedor hasn't just competed and won in Pride and other stops, but he has pretty much dominated. He has beat a lot of world class wrestler's granted none as talented as Randy but dispatched of them fairly easily.

    He can stand and fight with the best of them, both with hands and feet. He is an excellent submissionist and has very good submission defense. And all of that is not taking into account his freak strength, agility and conditioning for a guy who doesn't appear to be all that conditioned. Having said all that Couture would be the best he's ever fought by a landslide and it would certainly be a match for the ages. But I wouldn't be so quick to assume Randy could wear him down and/or rip through him.
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