Connect with us

breakdown

TUF 22 Finale: Edgar vs Mendes Breakdown

Dan Tom

Published

on

Frankie2

Frankie Edgar (19-4-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 34 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 72″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Uriah Faber (5-16-15)
  • Camp: Ricardo Almeida BJJ (New Jersey)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Excellent
  • Overall Fight Grade: A

Supplemental info:
+   Former UFC LW Champion
+   4x Div.1 Collegiate Wrestler
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   5 first round finishes
+   5 TKO victories
+   4 Submission wins
+   Good cardio & conditioning
^   Consistent pace & pressure
+   Excellent footwork & movement
^   Circles & angles intelligently
+   Volume & variety striker
+   Superb timing & transitions
+   Smooth chain wrestling
+   Relentless top pressure
^   Busy & effective ground striker
+/-Gets hit/recovers well

Mendes3

Chad Mendes (17-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 30 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 66″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Conor McGregor (7-11-15)
  • Camp: Team Alpha Male (Sacramento, CA))
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: A

Supplemental info:
+   2x Pac-10 Wrestling Champ
+   2x Div. 1 All-American Wrestler
+   7 KO victories
+   7 first round finishes
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Physically strong & athletic
+   100% Takedown defense rate
+   Quickly closes distance
^   Explosive entries
+   Solid power double-leg
^   Excellent timing
+   Good lateral movement
^   Deceptively agile
+   Dangerous right hand
+   Heavy top game
^   Controls action well

Summary:

For the evening’s main attraction is a much anticipated high-level affair, as longtime contenders Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes finally meet. Despite no belt on the line, this fight will arguably hold more implications on the Division’s future than Aldo vs McGregor. With both men used to high stakes, this 5 round main event should be par for the course. Given each fighters durability and takedown defense, I suspect this one to venture deep & primarily stay standing. Starting off on the feet, Frankie shows brilliant footwork as he’ll consistently circle one direction to come back and attack from the other.

Intelligently utilizing angles offensively & defensively, Edgar incorporates head movement off his strikes to exit out a different way than which he came in. He’ll need to stay disciplined here as movement will be Edgars best weapon and a key factor in this fight. Not to mention his movement may be the only thing between him and Chad’s fight changing power. Mendes being no footwork slouch himself, shows excellent lateral movement as he is arguably one the division’s most athletic fighters. Although deceptively agile on his feet, Chad generally will sit back in range and look to counter as he heavily relies on his natural abilities of speed & strength.

Though these attributes have largely been successful throughout Mendes career, this styling has traditionally faired poorly against Edgar. In Frankie’s fights with Benson Henderson(on a broad scope) & Gray Maynard(on a more direct scope), we saw the common thread of pressure fighting trouble the pressure fighter. More specifically in his first outing with Maynard, where we saw Gray use pressure boxing and wrestling against the cage to contain Edgar(a strategy we have strangely not seen implemented on the New Jersey Native since).

Chad Mendes more than has the tools to impose his own version of that recipe for success, especially if he dusts off the intensity shown in his rematch with the Champion Aldo. However, I have to go off what I see and that trend tells me Chad will likely look to counter fight. That said, Mendes shows improved striking off angles as he’ll side-step to exit. Though Edgar is a technical wonder in modern day MMA, he has also shown to be very hittable as Chad’s accurate left hooks and dangerous right hands are live intangibles in this fight.

As someone who’s looked forward to this match up for awhile now, I initially thought Mendes would have the advantage and be the one to knock off the Former Champ. As time and even title shots have passed by Mr. Edgar, the game, however, has not – as I feel he’s arguably evolved more than his younger counterpart. Even if Chad comes out with said ferocity, Edgar’s relentless pace & striking volume continually shows to make the difference as he’ll seemingly suck the fight into his rhythm. And with the only person to successfully counter fight Edgar being Jose Aldo, Mendes may find himself playing catch up should he not come hard with the Answer early.

Official Pick: Edgar – Decision

Edson2

Edson Barboza (16-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 29 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 75″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Paul Felder (7-25-15)
  • Camp: Ricardo Almeida BJJ (New Jersey)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: B

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Multiple Muay Thai Accolades
^   Record of 25-3 (22 by KO)
+   7 first round finishes
+   10 KO victories
+   Explosive fast-twitch striker
+   Devastating leg kicks
+   Accurate spin kicks
+   Lightning left switch kick
+   Dangerous right hand
+/-Requires space to operate
^   Consistently circles out
+   Good TD defense (83%)
+   Hard to hold down
^   Uses butterfly guard well
+   Excellent balance
–    Struggles when pressure fought

Tony2

Tony Ferguson (19-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 31 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Josh Thomson (7-15-15)
  • Camp: 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 13 Winner
+   2x All-American Wrestler
+   State Wrestling Champ (MI)
+   9 first round finishes
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   10 KO victories
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Good head movement
+   Accurate jab-cross
+   Dangerous in-close elbows
–    Hands low-head upright on reset
^   Counter strike availabilities
+   Constant pace & pressure
+   Solid from front headlock
^   Threatens chokes/takes back
+   Active guard/excellent hips
–    Gives position for submissions

Summary:

In a Lightweight tilt with possible Top 5 implications, Edson Barboza steps in to face Tony Ferguson in the evening’s co-main event. Riding a six-fight winning streak, Tony has made his presence known in the stacked Lightweight division with his ever-evolving style. From his solid wrestling base to his heavy-handed boxing attack, Ferguson has steadily developed dangerous submissions & an unpredictable transition game. Vegas oddsmakers feel this style will give problems to more disciplined Muay Thai stylings of Barboza, as Edson comes in as the live underdog in this match up.

Consistently circling the outside, Barboza measures distance as he presents feints to set up his dangerous kicking game. From lightning fast left switch kicks to his crushing right leg kick, there’s little fat or fluff in Edson’s arsenal-as even his spinning attacks are accurate. As highlighted as his kicks may be, I believe Barboza’s overhand right will serve him best in this particular match up. Tony Ferguson shows very good head movement, but will often reset/retreat from strikes with his hands low and head upright. This could potentially open up the hard overhand rights of Edson as we saw him utilize these counters in his fight with Donald Cerrone.

Ferguson will, however, be the taller & longer man who has shown to steadily exploit this with his expanding toolkit. Despite the constant looming threat of Edson’s leg kicks, I feel they will have limited play given the stance-switching movements of Ferguson. Like many of Barboza’s fights, he requires a comfortable space in which to operate, making distance & pressure the key factor in this match as well. Luckily for Tony, this is something he’s shown to excel at as his solid conditioning allows him a pace that often breaks down opposition.

Displaying constant feints & movement, Ferguson deceptively dictates distance as he’ll change speeds with variating attacks. Tony’s offense is supplemented by his single-shot power and supported by a durable chin making him a live threat throughout the contest. Though I give Edson a technical advantage standing, I feel these said intangibles will at the very least level the playing field. On the ground however, is where I feel Ferguson has a solid leg up on his competition.

Though only officially credited with 10 takedown attempts in a 10-fight UFC tenor, Tony has shown almost every other way to get a fight to the floor. Whether he’s capitalizing on opponents failed attempts or diving on submissions, Ferguson is very dangerous in his transition game. Though Barboza shows solid takedown defense and is hard to hold down, he’ll have to dot his i’s and cross his t’s when making his way back to his feet. Both men are superb talents that have bright futures in this division, but I feel the fight-to-fight improvements of Ferguson will come to fruition here as his momentum, chin, and more well-rounded weaponry should win him this fight.

Official Pick: Ferguson – Inside the distance

Joe4

Joe Lauzon (25-10)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 31 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Takanori Gomi (7-25-15)
  • Camp: Lauzon MMA (Boston, MA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   7 TKO victories
+   16 first round finishes
+   17 Submission wins
+   Furious & fast starter
+   Deceptively strong
+/-3-4 against southpaws
+   Accurate left hook
+/-Favors shell defense
^   Body & uppercut openings
+   Aggressive transition game
+   Effective ground striker
+   Dangerous submission variety
–    Gives position for submission

Dunham1

Evan Dunham (16-8)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 33 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Ross Pearson (7-18-15)
  • Camp: Dunham Jiu-Jitsu (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   6 Submission wins
+   3 TKO victories
+   4 first round finishes
+   Consistent pace & pressure
+   Good footwork & movement
+   Underrated wrestling
+   Well timed double-leg
^   Excellent chaining & adjustments
+   Creative submission game
+   Active on bottom
^   Looks to sweep & scramble
+   Volume & variety striker
^   Top 3 sig. strikes landed at LW
+   Accurate left cross/check hook

Summary:

In the deep waters of Lightweight, long-time division staples Joe Lauzon and Evan Dunham finally cross paths. With a weekend full of amazing fights I can honestly tell you that this one is in my top 3 must see. Both men’s technical aggression have left us privy to some of the most exciting fights that remind us why we love this sport. *Stated Bias* As someone who’s long-time trained at Xtreme Couture, I do know Evan personally. With that honestly stated, I approached this fight like any other. Starting off standing is where these two fighters(who are often referred to as similar) couldn’t be more different.

Both men have shown to work diligently in making technical improvements to their striking game, but I feel Dunham has matured into the more well-rounded threat. Wielding a consistent volume & variety of attack, Evan has quietly held a Top 3 standing in the UFC’s deepest division for significant strikes landed. More importantly than his punch-kick variations, I feel his movement will be the key difference in standing exchanges. Dunham shows disciplined footwork as he’ll smartly circle on the outside to establish attack angles, and utilize said footwork to angle-off defensively. Evan will have to be careful not to get drawn into unnecessary exchanges, as I give the power advantage to Lauzon standing.

Joe who employs more of a plotting Boxing style, has shown an improved ability to sit and counter with conviction whether he’s throwing inside elbows or his noted hard left hook. Primarily linear in his footwork, the movement issue may prove to be an uphill one for Lauzon with Evan’s said style. Dunham’s variating angles of attack may also pose problems for Joe, who will habitually revert to a shell defense which generally opens you up to uppercuts & body shots. Though Evan carries such tools in his arsenal, I feel his accurate left cross-check hook will have the most play in looking at Lauzon’s past fights against Southpaws.

Joe’s best approach on the feet will also be his best general approach to this fight, and that is to close the distance early & often making this a pressure fight. Though Dunham is not one to physically or mentally break, he’s often been criticized for sometimes slow starts. If Joe can get points on the board early or sway momentum his way, he can use the pressure to possibly open up closing opportunities (an area in which he thrives) or at least ride out a lead.

I know what you’re thinking,“But what about the ground game?” the truth is when you have two technically well-versed grapplers with an aggressive scramble & submission game, you’re more likely to predict who dies next in The Walking Dead. I can tell you that the key factor to the ground exchanges(or possible lack thereof) will be decided in the wrestling department. Though both men have an underrated game, I believe Dunham should have a the advantage wrestling as I see that securing his chances for a victory. With a matchup involving two talents like this, no outcome should surprise you as I caution any plays here. Instead, I highly encourage you to sit back, enjoy and appreciate the show that these men bring.

Official Pick: Dunham – Decision

TUF 22 Finale Predictions

  • Hall def. Lobov
  • Wrzosek def. Erosa
  • Lloveras def. Gruitzemacher

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Ryan Laflare def. Mike Pierce
  • Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Jason Knight
  • Gabriel Gonzaga def. Konstantin Erokhin
  • Geane Herrera def. Joby Sanchez

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Gabriel Gonzaga
-Frankie Edgar
-Tony Ferguson

Low Tier Picks:

-Joe Lauzon
-Geane Herrera
-Chad Mendes

Pieces for your parlay:

-Tony Ferguson
-Ryan Laflare

Props worth looking at:

-Ferguson – Inside the distance
-Dunham – by Decision

Fights to avoid:

– Herrera vs. Sanchez
– Wrzosek vs. Erosa
– Lloveras vs Gruitzemacher

For the complete analysis of future & past UFC events visit MixedMartialAnalyst.com and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws MMALatestNews.com

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

breakdown

GLORY: Redemption – Breakdown and Predictions

Published

on

Glory returns to pay-per-view today with a stacked card, featuring some of their greatest fighters. Among them are reigning champions Rico Verhoeven and Alex Pereira, as well as the return of former title holder Nieky Holzken.

In the main event, Rico puts his heavyweight title on the line against the very dangerous Jamal Ben Saddik, who defeated him 6 years ago. Rico comes into the fight riding an impressive 14-fight Glory winning streak.

The co-main event features a rematch of the 2016 Fight of the Year between light heavyweight veterans Michael ‘The Dreamcrusher’ Duut and Danyo ‘Dibuba’ Ilunga. The card is a must-see for kickboxing fans, as well as those who just love a good scrap. And with that out of the way, here’s a breakdown of some of the more interesting fight’s on Saturday’s super-card. Enjoy.

Nieky ‘The Natural’ Holzken – Credit: GLORY Kickboxing

Nieky Holzken vs Alim Nabiyev

Nabiyev came into Glory with a decent amount of steam behind him, but following his bout against short-notice opponent Jimmy Veinot, I honestly don’t see it. Nieky’s reign as champion was one of the best, and despite two close losses to the equally talented Cédric Doumbé, he’s still one of the best welterweights in the world today. With wins over Raymond Daniels, Joseph Valtellini, and current champion Murthel Groenhart, it’s hard to imagine Nieky having much of a problem with Nabiyev.

Expect plenty of pressure from Holzken early on. Coming off two straight losses Nieky will want to make a statement, and prove that he’s still the man to beat at 170. The liver shot will do it. Holzken will just be too much for Alim. Nabiyev has  potential and could be a contender in the future, but right now Holzken is on a whole ‘nother level. Nieky is back, and he wants that title.

Prediction: Nieky Holzken by 1st Round TKO

 

Alex 'Po Atan' Pereira

Alex ‘Po Atan’ Pereira – Credit: GLORY Kickboxing

Alex Pereira vs Yousri Belgaroui

Pereira’s win back at Glory 46 came as a shock to me. Simon Marcus has proven himself to be one of the best fighters in the division, and while Pereira is a solid kickboxer in his own right, I fully expected Marcus to win that one pretty easy. I was wrong. Pereira was the better man, and is now the Glory middleweight champion. But don’t expect it to last. Yousri completely shut Pereira down in there last meeting at Glory 40. And based on his last performance, a first round TKO over former champ Jason Wilnis, he’s only getting better.

Pereira’s path to victory is pretty simple, strike hard and strike early. The deep waters are not a place where Alex thrives. His cardio has been questionable in the past and his vaunted knockout power diminishes as the fight goes on. If Pereira can’t put Yousri on the back foot early it’s hard to see him taking this one.

The last fight was a fairly decisive win for Belgaroui. Alex was unable to score on Yousri and was picked apart after gassing out late into the fight. Pereira is a talented striker with some serious power, but Belgaroui’s well-rounded game and superior cardio should be enough to win him the championship.

Prediction: Yousri Belgaroui by Unanimous Decision

 

Michael Dreamcrusher Duut

Michael ‘Dreamcrusher’ Duut – Credit: GLORY Kickboxing

Michael Duut vs Danyo Ilunga

Last year these two stole the show, putting on one of the greatest fights of the year, maybe of all-time. But can they do it again? It’s hard to say. Consistency is not a strong suit for either of these men. Following his thriller with Ilunga, Duut went on to lose his next Glory contest by disqualification due to excessive clinching, then later won a contender tournament in less than a minute (48 seconds to be exact).

Duut’s incredible power and brawler style make him a dangerous fight for just about anyone in the light heavyweight division, but his lack of defence make him an easy target. Unfortunately, Ilunga hasn’t hit a bullsye in quite some time.

Danyo comes into this fight on a whopping 7 fight losing streak, and hasn’t won a fight in Glory since 2014. On the bright side, all 7 losses have come by decision so his chin has held up. Plus Duut isn’t the most durable guy in the world, so it’s possible that Ilunga could knock him out. But I don’t see that happening. Duut is just too powerful and Ilunga isn’t the same fighter he used to be. Hopefully the fight is as great as the last one was, but don’t expect it to go to a 4th round this time. Ilunga’s on a slippery slope, and Duut’s about to cause an avalanche.

Prediciton: Michael Duut by 3rd Round KO

 

Rico The King of Kickboxing Verhoeven

Rico ‘The King of Kickboxing’ Verhoeven – Credit: GLORY Kickboxing

Rico Verhoeven vs Jamal Ben Saddik

Despite being the main event this was one of the easier fights to pick. Rico has looked unstoppable lately, and as much as people hate to give him credit for anything, he really is the best heavyweight in the world right now. That doesn’t mean a whole lot considering how weak the division is at the moment, but Rico is champion for a reason.

The rest of the heavyweights just aren’t on his level. ‘Big Ben’ included. Jamal’s last fight against Guto Inocente was a total snoozefest, and if not for his rivalry with Rico he probably wouldn’t even be in the title picture. Badr Hari better get his act together cause Rico’s running out of opponents.

The only advantage I see Jamal having is his power. Rico is faster, more precise, and his striking is more diverse. Again, this is a heavyweight contest so anything can happen, but Jamal hasn’t KO’d a world-class opponent since he fought ‘Braddock’ 2 years ago. Since then, Rico has knocked-out Benjamin Adegbuyi, ‘Braddock’, Bigfoot Silva, and broke Badr’s arm earning him a TKO victory. Rico’s the better fighter, simple as that. And no amount of chest hair is going to change that.

Prediction: Rico Verhoeven by 5th Round KO

All images used in this article are accredited to GLORY Kickboxing

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading

breakdown

UFC 218: Holloway vs Aldo 2 Main Card Predictions and Analysis

Published

on

Image result for holloway vs aldo

The passing of the torch. A usual occurrence in combat sports. There comes a time when the old guard has to step down and let the new generation take its place. UFC 218 is all about the passing of the torch. Holloway-Aldo 2, Overeem-Ngannou, Alvarez-Gaethje, the card is chock full of young hungry fighters looking to make a statement against their aging counterparts. But don’t expect the old lions to give up without a fight. Aldo is still a world-class striker and Eddie’s still got some tread on the tires. And at the age of 37, Overeem is still one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the world today.

Max Holloway is a perfect representative of the new generation. He’s scrappy, well-rounded, and will fight whoever you put in front of him. He’s got the fire. So do Ngannou, Gaethje, and the rest of the young guys. Aldo hasn’t had that fire in a long time. Sure he’s still a great fighter,‌ but in his last few fights, he’s lacked that burning passion he used to have. Aldo has all the tools to beat Holloway, but does he have the drive? Does the fire still burn, or was it put out long ago? That’s what we’re going to find out come Saturday.

 

Tecia Torres vs Michelle Waterson

This is such a weird fight. Torres’ climb to the top has been impressively mediocre. She has wins over quality opponents like Angela Hill, Felice Herrig, and Paige VanZant. However, with just a single finish to her credit, Tecia hasn’t given the fans a reason to pay attention to her. Waterson is the complete opposite. She has only gone to decision twice and is one of the more popular fighters in the division. However, injuries and losses have prevented Waterson from gaining any real momentum.

As far as the fight goes I really don’t know what to expect. Waterson is fairly inconsistent and Torres is so consistent it hurts. My assumption would be that Waterson has the better ground game, so if anyone’s going to take it to the mat it will be her. Torres has the better overall stand-up game but doesn’t possess the same finishing ability of the Karate Hottie. My guess is that this one stays on the feet with Torres pushing the pace early, then getting caught by a powerful strike from Waterson that puts her down for good.

Prediction: Michelle Waterson by 2nd Round TKO

 

Eddie Alvarez vs Justin Gaethje

How the hell did Cejudo-Pettis get billed higher than this? Alvarez vs Gaethje has the potential to be the Forrest-Bonnar of the modern era. Both men are aggressive brawlers on the feet and strong wrestlers on the mat. I’d give the submission edge to Eddie, but that’s about it. Gaethje’s striking game is more diverse than Eddie’s is, and his youth is definitely something to consider. With 34 fights to his credit, Alvarez is certainly no spring chicken. He’s not nearly as durable as he used to be, and against a dangerous scrapper like Gaethje, that’s not a great quality.

I really wanted to go with Alvarez on this one, but facts are facts. Gaethje is younger, tougher, and most importantly, better for business. Eddie already lost to the biggest draw in the game. Money-wise he doesn’t have much to offer. Gaethje, however, is a promoters wet dream. He’s durable, dangerous, and damn fun to watch. Basically, everything Eddie used to be. Why does any of this matter? Because the judges work for the UFC. If the UFC brass wants Gaethje to win, then he will. Simple as that. Is it right? No, but business is business. And Justin Gaethje is good for business.

Prediction: Justin Gaethje by Split Decision

 

Henry Cejudo vs Sergio Pettis

This feels like too big a step up for Sergio, which is weird considering he’s ranked #4 and Cejudo is ranked #2. After Cejudo’s fight with Mighty Mouse, I wrote him off as nothing more than a sacrifice to the flyweight king. But his close fight with perennial #1 contender Joseph Benavidez and his vicious knockout over veteran submission artist Wilson Reis have shown me that Cejudo is more than just a big-headed wrestler. Henry is one of the best. If anyone in the division is taking the belt off Mighty Mouse it’s him.

Sergio is a talented kid, no doubt. Give him a few more years to develop and he could be champion one day. Unfortunately for him, the UFC doesn’t have time for that. They need flyweight contenders. If that means a few prospects have to bite the dust then so be it. I just hope Sergio doesn’t get completely outclassed and is able to make a good showing, but against a guy like Cejudo, I’m not holding my breath.

Prediction: Henry Cejudo by Unanimous Decision

 

Alistair Overeem vs Francis Ngannou

Call me crazy, but I’m still not completely sold on Cheick Kongo with dreadlocks. His only quality win is a knockout over what’s left of Andrei Arlovski. Overeem, on the other hand, has fought nothing but quality contenders in his climb back to the top, with his only loss coming against reigning champion Stipe Miocic (although some would argue they saw the tap). On paper, this is Overeem’s fight to win. Unfortunately, paper is what Overeem’s chin is made of.

Ngannou may not be as technically sound as Overeem is, but he hits just as hard, maybe harder. One good shot from the Predator and Overeem could drop like a sack of horse meat. Combine that with Overeem’s uber-cockiness and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Picking Overeem is always a gamble, but I’m willing to roll the dice on this one. It’s not gonna be pretty but Overeem’s in-and-out kickboxing and “run like hell” defensive style should be just enough to win this.

Prediction: Alistair Overeem by Unanimous Decision

 

 Max Holloway vs Jose Aldo 2

Holloway TKO’d Aldo about 6 months ago. Max is in the best form of his career. Aldo is taking the fight on short notice. I really can’t think of a good reason to pick Aldo on this one. Sure his striking is still some of the best in the division, but at this point, he’s writing checks his body can’t cash anymore. His chin has degraded significantly and his patented leg kicks are nowhere to be found. It pains me to say this because Aldo is an incredible fighter, but it’s starting to feel as though the sport is passing him by. Aldo is the past, Max is the future.

Despite just winning the title this summer, Holloway has effectively cleaned out the division. Swanson, Lamas, Stephens, Pettis, all fell to the young Hawaiian. Hell, since his loss to McGregor nobody’s even come close to beating Holloway. This doesn’t mean Max is invincible though. Frankie is still a huge threat to Max’s title, and those who sleep on Aldo are often put to sleep themselves. The road ahead of him is not an easy one, but something tells me Max is going to do just fine. It is what it is.

Prediction: Max Holloway by 2nd Round TKO

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading

breakdown

GSP vs Robert Whittaker is Easily the Best Fight to Make at Middleweight

Published

on

GSP became the new middleweight champion of the UFC this past weekend, and many questions have been asked his way. Is he officially the greatest of all time? Who does he fight next? Does he stay at middleweight?

The G.O.A.T. conversation will never be settled completely. There will always be separation in opinions between Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, GSP, Demetrious Johnson, Fedor Emelianenko, and some even say Conor McGregor is the greatest, simply due to the fact that he is the first ever UFC champion to hold two belts simultaneously. Regardless of how that conversation is driven, the biggest question that should be the only concern at this point is the immediate plans for the new middleweight champion.

Where does GSP go next, and who does he fight?

Well, the fact of the matter is, it would not make sense for GSP to go down to the welterweight division again. 170-pounds is alive and kicking at the moment, with new stars emerging such as Darren Till and Mike Perry, to return of veterans like Carlos Condit, and also new additions to the division like Rafael dos Anjos. St-Pierre would have to stay extremely active in order to keep the division flowing.

At the age of 36 and having just returned to MMA last weekend, St-Pierre is unlikely to stay as active as he used to be when he was the king of the welterweight division. Plus, would it really make much sense for him to get on his old diet again in order to make the welterweight weight limit? He looked massive last night, all bulked up, and even seemed like the bigger fighter against Bisping, who used to fight at 205-pounds.

On the other hand, if he decides to stay at middleweight, which is what UFC president Dana White stated would happen yesterday, then there is one clear path for him to take and based on his statements on his contract, will be forced to take: Robert Whittaker.

Whittaker won the interim middleweight belt earlier this year against Yoel Romero at UFC 213, which was a razor close fight that went to Whittaker at the end of 5 rounds. Since then, Whittaker has been sidelined due to the injury he suffered during the fight, damaging his ligament in the left knee.

4 months later, he has seemed to have healed up perfectly, as he was in the arena for the madness last night and even answered a few questions from the media, stating that he is healthy now. The fight against Whittaker would be the best that the UFC could put on at this point in 185-pounds division on a few different levels.

GSP and Whittaker have a lot in common. Starting with the most obvious, they both used to fight at welterweight. Which means that neither fighter will have a massive size advantage. This brings the match up nearly even as far as physicality is concerned.

Then comes the match up itself. St-Pierre and Whittaker both represent the very definition of being ‘well-rounded’. Whittaker, although not an offensive wrestler, proved that his defensive wrestling was second to none in his fight against Romero, a former Olympic wrestler. And while GSP is not necessarily the best wrestler in pure wrestling, his ability to wrestle in MMA is phenomenal due to his timing and fight IQ, which makes this fight even more intriguing to find out whether Whittaker can defend GSP’s takedown attempts.

This fight also represents the UFC an opportunity to see a birth of a superstar. Whittaker, while not a huge talker, is a very marketable fighter especially over in Australia and New Zealand. If he is able to defeat GSP, who’s arguably the biggest draw in the history of the company, it would boost Whittaker’s popularity up an extraordinary amount. And being only 26 years old, Whittaker has the tools and potential to be a dominant champion, much like St-Pierre in his “prime”.

Booking this fight would also clear up the confusing state of the middleweight division. With Bisping’s reign as the champion coming to an end, some hope was born for other contenders in the division. Fighters like Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza were having an extremely hard time getting a hold of Michael Bisping during his reign, and with a new champion now and possible unification of the belts soon, the contenders will have a goal to work for again.

The fight is one of the best fights that UFC could put on for the fans right now and one that can happen as early as February of 2018, which is when the UFC returns to Australia with a PPV. If it can come to fruition, then it will easily be one of the best fights of the year and one that all the fans can count the days down to.

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading

Trending