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UFC 204: Bisping vs Henderson 2 Breakdown

Dan Tom

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Michael Bisping (29-7)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 37 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 75.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Luke Rockhold (6-4-16)
  • Camp: RVCA Gym (California/UK)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Excellent

Supplemental info:
+   UFC Middleweight Champion
+   TUF 3 Winner
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Multiple Grappling Accolades
+   18 KO victories
+   12 first round finishes
+   3 Submission wins
+   Excellent feints & footwork
^   Manages distance well
+   Consistent pace & pressure
^   Good cardio & conditioning
+   Accurate left hook
+   Underrated wrestling
+   Good guard retention & get-ups
–    Dropped in 3 of last 5 fights

 

Dan Henderson (32-14)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 46 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 74″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Hector Lombard (6-4-16)
  • Camp: Team Quest (Temecula, CA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Pride MW & WW Title Holder
+   2x U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team
+   Multiple Greco-Roman Accolades
+   Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Title
+   16 KO victories
+   15 first round finishes
+   KO Power
+   Strong inside the clinch
+   Devastating right hand
^   Sometimes throws self out of position
+   Solid top game
^   Dangerous ground striker
+/-Willingness to trade
^   Counter availabilities
–    Dropped/stopped in 5 out of last 11

Summary:

The main event in Manchester features an epic rematch for the middleweight title as Michael Bisping defends the crown from Dan Henderson. The word “epic” can often be overused, but it is highly appropriate when describing the two roads that each man took to get here.

Michael Bisping, who many had written off to challenge for the title, has had one the best years of his career at 37-years of age. Now, he will not only get to defend his newfound championship belt–but also get a chance to avenge one of the most notorious knockout losses in UFC history, as he gets another crack at Dan Henderson.

Despite having one of the most accoladed careers you could ask for in MMA, Dan Henderson finds himself on the other side of the coin coming into his second meeting with the Count. Although his support from fans and fighters have not dwindled, Dan’s mileage has finally started to show as he is the oldest fighter on the roster at 46 years of age.

Numbers aside, they say that power is the last to go–as I give my take on how these two stack up this time around. Spending most of his storied career sharpening the effectiveness of his forward pressure, we have steadily seen Dan round out his approach. From his left-handed paws–to his patent inside leg kick, Henderson has kept his setups consistent for his right-hand. This forward-pressure approach worked great for Dan in their first meeting, especially when you consider the way Michael used to move.

Coming from more of a kickboxing base, Bisping was still in the process of learning how to sit down on his punches as he had a tendency to keep upright, particularly on his exits. Although his then habit of circling to the left did not help Michael, it was his overall defensive posture that made him so vulnerable. Since then, we have seen Bisping improve upon his hand and head positioning. Though his high-output approach still makes him hittable by nature, we have seen Michael minimize these scenarios since joining forces with Jason Parillo.

A striking coach with strong boxing roots, Parillo has helped many great fighters grow, including the lightweight legend, BJ Penn. In turn, we now see Michael move much more fluidly with his footwork as it fuels his pulls & returns. Applying angles appropriately, Bisping will also change his level more, which opens up his options and makes him harder to hit. What is most impressive about the Englishmen’s renaissance is the fact that he is largely doing it with one eye. Shortly after a loss to Vitor Belfort, Bisping sustained an eye injury that required surgery, albeit not corrective.

Although initially struggling in his return fight against Tim Kennedy, Michael has since shown a heightened urgency and awareness in regards to exiting exchanges. Much better about retracting his right hand, Bisping will also look to exit safely from right crosses or clean-up hitting hooks. Due in large part to his angle awareness and foot placement, Michael is most successful when punching his way out of the exchanges, as that is how he was able to drop the likes of Luke Rockhold and Anderson Silva.

However, Bisping will still often pull back from exchanges without punching, and in turn exposing his head. Even if you go back to Bisping’s wins over Dolloway and Leites, you will see that this was apparent during the times he was in trouble. Considering that the counter game has deceptively been the quiet improvements to Henderson’s offense, these spaces will likely be the American’s best path to victory. Since Dan will more than likely be on the wrong side of the speed equation, his feints will be crucial in opening up his opportunities.

A key in equalizing speed advantages, feints are also useful in drawing out “stick & move” fighters, especially ones who have a habit of preemptively parrying. Although Henderson has shown to incorporate feints since his most recent return to the UFC, he has struggled to find success with them as Dan’s tightness tends to turn them into preemptive plots that give away his attacks. We saw multiple examples of this in his fights with Shogun Rua and Vitor Belfort, as both men were most successful when catching Henderson coming in.

That said, we may see Henderson look to flip the script and counter Bisping. As we saw in his fights with Tim Boetsch and Hector Lombard, Dan’s “H-Bomb” is just as effective moving backward, as this will be the looming threat to Bisping’s onslaughts. Although right hands have been the common culprit in 6/8 of Dan’s recently sustained knockdowns(due to his low lead hand), the left-hand of Bisping may be his biggest problem. Naturally leaning heavily to his right side, Henderson also has a tendency to lean dangerously forward on his approach.

With these two habits in mind, Dan could very well run into Michael’s jabs and hooks. “Left Hook Larry” moniker aside, Bisping’s left-hook has developed into one of his more accurate shots as it often punctuates exchanges. That said, Dan has an underrated left hook of his own that often follows failed right hands. When it comes to the grappling advantages, I would have to side with the former U.S. Olympian on paper. However, Bisping may have a quiet edge here that could unfold depending on the circumstances.

As Henderson has gotten older, we have seen him call upon his wrestling less and less. In fact, we have only seen the two-time Olympic team member offensively wrestle when hurt or threatened in the heat of exchanges. Considering how difficult Bisping’s movement can be when it comes to setting up a shot, I would not be surprised to see seldom attempts from Dan. That said, Bisping has an improved reactive double-leg that could see the light of day if executed on an overwhelmed Henderson.

Although the middle ground known as the clinch game should also be an on-paper edge for Dan, the real action will take place on the separation as each man diligently strikes off of the breaks. Should Dan get the Englishmen grounded, I am not certain he will be able to keep him down given Bisping’s butterfly and under-hook acumen. Ultimately, I see this fight’s fate being decided on the feet and off the breaks, where I believe the sharper man will thrive. Even though I will be rooting for Dan Henderson to win the one trophy missing from his case, I suspect that Michael Bisping will finally have his revenge in Manchester.

Official Pick: Bisping – Inside the distance

 

Vitor Belfort (25-12)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 39 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 74″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Jacare Souza (5-14-16)
  • Camp: Team Vitor Belfort (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Former UFC LHW Champion
+   UFC Heavyweight Tournament Winner
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   18 KO victories
+   3 Submission wins
+   19 first round finishes
+   KO Power
+   Accurate left hand
^   Often sets up left kick
+   Superb killer instinct
–    Will succeed bottom
–    Struggles w/grappling pressure
+/-20+ years of fighting experience

 

Gegard Mousasi (39-6-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 31 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Thiago Santos (2-9-16)
  • Camp: Red Devil International (Netherlands)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   Former Strikeforce & Dream Champion
+   Amateur Boxing Champion
+   8-0 as a Pro Kickboxer
+   Black Belt Judo
+   22 KO victories
+   10 Submission wins
+   29 first round finishes
+   Manages distance well
+   Active & accurate jab
+   Solid defensive fundamentals
+   Underrated wrestling ability
+   Good ground strikes & submissions
+   Crafty guard retentions & sweeps

Summary:

The co-main event for UFC 204 features a middleweight fight between Vitor Belfort and Gegard Mousasi. Coming off a tough loss to Jacare Souza back in May, the long-tenured Belfort will look to once again ride into glory. Ahead of the Brazilian legend is a tough task as he draws MMA’s lone wolf, Gegard Mousasi. A veteran that has also seen it all, Mousasi will attempt to score another scalp as he seeks title contention.

At this stage of his twenty-year-plus career, it is no surprise that Vitor Belfort comes in as the underdog in this spot. Despite Belfort’s inconsistencies since his controversial testosterone use, the Brazilian will have clear and tangible paths to victory in this fight. A noted first round fighter, Belfort could conceivably get the jump on Gegard, who often starts slow. More specifically, Mousasi’s defensive tendencies could play right into Vitor’s most potent strikes.

Stalking forward in a measured fashion, Mousasi will steadily pressure opponents through jabs and feints. However, when Gegard looks to defend, he tends to lurch forward as he leans/slips to off to his right-side. Against a southpaw in Lyoto Machida, we saw Mousasi struggle to find his jab as he ate left-sided counter kicks and punches. That said, Machida has a knack for throwing off the best of strikers with his unorthodox style, so that should be kept in mind as this was Gegard’s only UFC southpaw sample-size.

Although Vitor is not as fast as Machida, nor as fleet-of-foot, his left cross and kick are still lethal. Belfort also throws a nice uppercut off his check hook that could find it’s home through Gegard’s lurching guard. That said, I expect Mousasi has improved since his Machida bout as he has shown to more efficiently pressure inside the Octagon. Even though Mousasi seems uninterested by the look on his face, he is subtly searching for defensive tells and openings. Gegard also has some underrated leg kicks that could see some light in this fight.

However, as heavy as Mousasi’s leg kicks can be, they may also open him up to explosive counter shots from the Brazilian if he is not careful. Where the road of possibilities begins to narrow for me, is when looking at Mousasi’s reactive shot. Although he is not an active wrestler by any stretch, Gegard’s abilities are solid here as he knows just when to take his opponents down. Even though Vitor initially displayed improvements to his takedown defense in his last outing, he still showed to succumb to grappling pressure within the first round.

Although Belfort will have moments of veteran savvy inside the scrambles, he will also still pull guard or succeed to the bottom. Once underneath his opposition, Vitor has shown surprisingly little hip-awareness, much less the urgency to stand or submit. Not only is Gegard technically sound enough to keep down a grounded Belfort, but he is also intelligent enough to know that this is his path of least resistance. Although Vitor has slightly more than a puncher’s chance, his do-or-die sensibilities will likely see him stopped before the final bell.

Official Pick: Mousasi – Inside the distance

 

Ovince Saint Preux (19-8)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’3″ Age: 33 Weight: 205 lbs Reach: 80″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Jon Jones (4-23-16)
  • Camp: Knoxville MMA (Tennessee)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   10 KO victories
+   4 Submission wins
+   12 first round finishes
+   KO Power
+   Accurate left hand
+   Hard left body kick
+   Improved footwork
^   Shows intelligent shifts
+   Underrated submission game
+   Solid reactive shot
+   Good get-up urgency/ability
–    Struggles w/wrestling pressure

 

Jimi Manuwa (15-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 36 Weight: 205 lbs Reach: 79.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Anthony Johnson (9-5-15)
  • Camp: All-Stars Training Center (Sweeden/UK)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   13 KO victories
+   1 Submission wins
+   10 first round finishes
+   KO Power
+   Solid footwork
+   Accurate left hook
+   Dangerous right hand
+   Dynamic kicking game
^   Especially off lead foot
+   Competent takedown defense (69%)
?   Questionable overall ground game
–    1 fight in 18 months

Summary:

In a light-heavyweight affair, Ovince Saint Preux takes on Jimi Manuwa. Coming off a short notice fight against Jon Jones, Saint Preux will look to right his ship after going the distance with the former champion. Standing in his way is England’s own, as Jimi Manuwa looks to make his return from an inactive 18 months.

Starting off on the feet, Saint Preux is dangerous, but Jimi is arguably the superior striker. Despite only doing martial arts since 2008, the 36-year old Manuwa looks to be one of the most refined technicians in the division. Keeping a classic defensive-guard, Jimi mixes in fundamentally sound strikes with traditional techniques like hook kicks. That said, Manuwa tends to throw his kicks nakedly, which could allow for counters.

I feel that Manuwa’s left hook may serve him well in this fight. Although Jimi does not have a huge sample size against southpaws, he shows good foot placement in his footwork that allows him to place his punches appropriately. Throwing his left hook coming forward or off of the counter may be Manuwa’s best chances of catching the elusive southpaw. One of the most natural athletes to compete in the UFC, we have seen Saint Preux steadily attach technics to his strong base.

Despite being one of the bigger men in the division, Ovince is also one of the most fleet-of-foot in regards to the way he moves. Displaying a shift variation referred to in traditional martial arts as “opening the gate“–the southpaw will swing his lead foot backward into an orthodox stance. These deceptive stance-switches change OSP’s attack range as well as his opposition’s perception of it. It will also allow Saint Preux to keep his left-hand in play as we saw this depicted in his fight with Shogun Rua(I also refer to this technique in my Cruz-Dillashaw Breakdown as Cruz has been masterfully doing this for years).

Even though Ovince’s left side is dangerous in regards to his punches and kicks, I believe his uppercut may be most potent in this matchup. Although the shell defense Manuwa employs can often expose the body, Jimi has shown a good job in defending body kicks in his fights with Ryan Jimmo and Jan Blachowicz. However, the shell guard can also make one open for attacks up the middle–like knees or uppercuts. Considering that those are strikes that Jimi has traditionally struggled with, this could be the punch to look for from OSP as his finish of Patrick Cummings shows his potential there.

Where the road of advantages begins to split for me, is when I look at each man’s grappling prospects. Regardless of how things go on the feet, OSP should always have the option of taking this fight to the floor as the superior wrestler, and arguably superior clinch fighter. Manuwa can strike well from the clinch as his leg dexterity lends itself to some nice knees inside. However, his efforts inside have largely been to anti-clinch as he faced a higher level of opposition. Both men have a good aptitude in striking off the breaks, but Saint Preux’s ability to changes levels for a shot should make the difference here.

Once on top, Ovince has been looking for fewer submissions and showing more positional awareness. Although that does not initially sound ideal, it is a sign of growth and maturity as this has also allowed OSP’s ground striking and control to become more efficient. I do not mean to discount Manuwa on the ground, but what little we have seen from him has not been the best account. Despite being a natural learner with excellent leg dexterity, we have seen no sign of a developing guard, much less the utilization of butterflies to stand. Unless Jimi can unveil some new skills he picked up from All-Stars Training Center, then I see OSP being able to control this fight.

Official Pick: Saint Preux – Decision

 

Stefan Struve (27-8)

Staple info:

  • Height: 7’0″ Age: 28 Weight: 265 lbs Reach: 84.5″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Antonio Silva (5-8-16)
  • Camp: Blackzilians (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Title
+   8 KO victories
+   16 Submission wins
+   17 first round finishes
+   Strong teep kicks
+   Hard leg kicks
+   Accurate right hand
+   Improved takedown defense
^   Off cage & inside clinch
+   Moves/scrambles well on top
+   Dangerous submission game
^   Favors triangle chokes
–    Overhand availability
–   Traditionally takes damage
+/-6/8 losses in the first round

 

Daniel Omielanczuk (19-5-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 34 Weight: 242 lbs Reach: 74″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Alexey Oleynik (7-13-16)
  • Camp: S4 Fight Club (Poland)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   3 KO victories
+   9 Submission wins
+   9 first round finishes
+   Good footwork
^   Outside foot awareness
+   Heavy hands
^   Dangerous L. hand-R. hook
+   Hard left kicks
^   Body & head
+   Strong inside the clinch
^   Deceptive base & balance
+   Solid top game
–    Struggles from bottom
–    Fighting on short notice

Summary:

In a heavyweight battle, Stefan Struve will take on Daniel Omielanczuk. Originally slated to face Ruslan Magomedov, Struve will now face another Eastern European striker in Daniel Omielanczuk. Coming in on two weeks notice, Omielanczuk will put his 3-fight winning streak on the line as he looks to score the upset.

With both fighters technically skilled, the standing exchanges should tell us the most about this fight’s trajectory. Although Struve was preparing for one of the division’s more technical strikers, Daniel Omielanczuk is a different kind of fighter as he seldom sits back to counter. A deceptive distance closer, Daniel shows solid footwork for a heavyweight as he maintains an outside-foot-awareness. Although he has Muay Thai experience, his overall movement has a nod to his traditional background in Wushu Sanda.

Despite having an affinity for head kicks, Omielanczuk may not have many realistic looks against a foe who is a foot taller. That said, the body should be open all day long as I suspect the liver kick will be the shot to look for from the Pole. Although Stefan has traditionally struggled to keep his distance, he has made steady improvements to his game in the past few years. Dusting off his jab with more consistency, Stefan will also lean on his long teep kick to assist his efforts of distance management.

However, Struve will need to be careful when throwing it as Omielanczuk has a knack for countering kicks. In his UFC debut against Nandor Gueimino, Daniel was able to counter the Austrian’s teep kick with a thunderous left-hand that dropped him flat. Granted, Nandor did throw the same kick three times consecutively, but Struve will need to respect Omielanczuk regardless.

Although Daniel has the propensity to push into the clinch, he does not show a strong takedown game that I see giving Struve trouble. Daniel primarily attempts his takedowns against the fence, an area where Stefan has shown marked improvement. Despite an aging Minotauro Nogueira not being the best measuring stick as far wrestling goes, Struve did show some real technical improvements in not just defending takedowns, but also killing clinch engagements and circling out.

Although Struve’s fight with Rosholt was seemingly stranger, we still saw Stefan show these improvements as he was able to defend and adjust as the fight went on. Despite that being one of the more painful fights of recent memory, I do not feel it is a condemnation of Struve’s potential career. That said, his 16-second victory over Bigfoot Silva last May was not the best sample-size either. Never the less, Struve is training with quality coaches down in Florida as I suspect to see his improvements should this fight hit the floor.

Working with Blackzilian’s ground-marshall, Neil Melanson, Stefan has had the tutelage of one the best MMA grappling coaches in the game. A triangle choke specialist at 6’7″–250 lbs., Neil makes for an ideal coach to the man known as the Skyscraper. Moving his hips exceptionally well for a big man, I suspect that Struve will be able to give Daniel an unusual look that will likely cause him fits. Even when failing on initial attempts, Struve has shown to parlay his efforts into scrambling scenarios that serve him well.

With neither man possessing an aggressive takedown game, it is hard to forecast how much of this fight will take place on the mat. That said, I have to give an advantage to Struve as he will be the more dangerous man from top or bottom. Although Struve is the deserved favorite coming into this fight, Omielanczuk has all the intangibles of an underdog as he has a knack for dishing out unfavorable dog fights. Although Daniel is not the biggest finishing threat, he is physically durable with a deceptive gas tank attached. Considering that Omielanczuk has yet to be stopped, the safe play may be the over in what I feel is a heavyweight coin toss.

Official Pick: Struve – Decision

 

Mirsad Bektic (10-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 25 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Lucas Martins (5-30-15)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Title
+   6 KO victories
+   1 Submission win
+   4 first round finishes
+   Excellent footwork
^   Manages distance well
+   Fundamentally sound striker
^   Accurate jab-cross
+   Strong hips & base
^   100% Takedown defense
+   Natural wrestling ability
^   Superb reactive shot
+   Fights well in-close
^   Good head positioning/hand fighting
–    1 fight in 17 months

 

Russell Doane (14-6)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 30 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 69.5″
  • Last Fight: Submission loss / Pedro Munhoz (7-7-16)
  • Camp: Hawaii Elite MMA (Hawaii)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   6 KO victories
+   5 Submission wins
+   7 first round finishes
+   Improved footwork
^   Stance shifting attacks
+   Heavy hands
+   Hard body kicks
+   Underrated wrestling ability
^   Quick shots & solid chains
+   Scrambles & rides well
^   Good grip & lever application
+/-Turtles out to stand
^   Struggles w/back take availability
–    Fighting on 5 days notice

Summary:

Kicking off the main card is a fun featherweight fight between Mirsad Bektic and Russell Doane. Originally slated to face Arnold Allen, Bektic will yet again deal with an opponent change as the Bosnian is eager to make his return. Saving the show and stepping in on five days notice is Hawaiian fighter, Russell Doane. Coming up from bantamweight to take this fight, Russell will put his 3-fight losing skid aside and look to upset an undefeated fighter.

Even though the odds are strongly against Doane to do it, the Hawaiian will bring some interesting intangibles to the table. Although he is the smaller man, Russell is one of the better movers Bektic has faced on the feet in his short UFC tenor. Despite the fact that Doane has struggled to show the same potential standing as he did in his bouts outside the UFC, the Hawaiian showed signs of his improvements in his last fight with Pedro Munhoz. Similar to his stablemate Max Holloway, Russell came out southpaw as he would shift his stances and attack

Firing accurate left-hands and body kicks in a continuum, the fast starting Hawaiian looked to be controlling the fight early. Although Doane ended up losing to Munhoz(via a beautiful boa choke), his quick starts standing could be his best shot here. Even though Mirsad is no slouch in the striking department, he has not competed in well over a year as strike timing can be the hardest adjustment initially. That said, Bektic shows disciplined defenses and is also fleet-of-foot, as he circles off and angles appropriately.

Where the rubber meets the road in this fight is within the wrestling exchanges. Both men show preternatural hip awareness and strength but go about their games differently. Bektic employs an excellent reactive shot that is reminiscent to a prime GSP when attached to his jab. Doane, on the other hand, will rely on his quickness to get in on shots as he works more of a chaining takedown game. Although Russell has the technical ability to create his moments here, I suspect that the bigger man’s high-percentage game will eventually take over.

However, bigger is not always better when it comes to grappling matchups. A technical grappler can do well against bigger opponents but struggle against the smaller ones, as scrambling plays a huge factor in forcing a control player to work. Since most top game players who have a size advantage seldom stray from trying to control the action, things could get interesting should Russell force Bektic to play his game. That said, the Hawaiian’s game is a double-edged sword as his scrambles often get him burned as well.

Like many wrestling based grapplers, Russell tends to turtle out when he stands which always runs a risk for back takes. Despite Doane having superb submission defense, his is too comfortable in fighting from bad spots as this has cost him crucial rounds in the past. Mirsad plays an air-tight, and patient top game where he will use his pressure to open up his advances. Although he is not as flashy a scrambler as Russell, the Bosnian will smoothly snatch a back at the appropriate times.

Even though a layoff is not as troubling as a short-notice fight, I would go easy on expectations for Bektic, as I predict a measured approach from the Bosnian. Although Russell is a bantamweight, he has heavy-hands and a submissions game that Bektic will need to respect. Although I would not mind seeing the scrappy Hawaiian score an upset, I will be siding with Bektic as I see him getting back on his horse and riding out the storm.

Official Pick: Bektic – Decision

Preliminary Card Predictions:

  • Pickett def. Alcantara
  • Font def. Entwistle
  • Grant def. Stasiak
  • Tumenov def. Edwards
  • Roberts def. Perry
  • Martins def. Santos
  • Diakiese def. Sajewski

Recommended Plays:

Draft Kings recommended rosters:

 

Team #1: $50,000.00

-Gegard Mousasi ($9,400.00)
-Michael Bisping ($9,100.00)
-Marc Diakiese ($9,000.00)
-Brad Pickett ($7,900.00)
-Daniel Omielanczuk ($7,700.00)
-Ian Entwistle ($6,900.00)

Team Summary:

For my Draft Kings recommended roster, I went with the high-tier picks of Gegard Mousasi, Michael Bisping, and Marc Diakiese. Gegard Mousasi is the fighter I favor most on this card to find a finish for the reasons stated in the breakdown above. A versatile finisher who is facing a do-or-die fighter, Mousasi is well worth the price of $9,400.00. Secondly, I went with Michael Bisping as he is also one of the more favored fighters to find a finish on this card. As main event participant in a five-round fight, the Count is well worth his price tag of $9,100.00.

Lastly, I went with the newcomer Marc Diakiese to score a knockout over Lukasz Sajewski. Although Sajewski’s well-rounded attack and forward pressure present a tough test, Diakiese demonstrates a larger athletic upside, as well as the proper tools for the job. Wielding a dangerous right-hand, Diakiese has stunned his last handful of opponents with his precise shots over the top. As we saw in Sajewski’s last fight with Gilbert Burns, his low-handed stalking nature makes him vulnerable to overhands. In what has the makings of an action fight, Diakiese could pay off big for the price of $9,000.00.

For my lower-tier dog picks, I elected to go with Brad Pickett, Daniel Omielanczuk, and Ian Entwistle. Brad Pickett is my most confident dog pick on the card as he faces Iuri Alcantara. Although Alcantara is a dangerous veteran fighter, Pickett has the output advantages to outscore Alcantara, who often strikes in singles and from the same side. In fact, Alcantara has become less successful banking on big shots as he has gotten older. Even though the Brazilian is an excellent back taker, Pickett has an underrated wrestling and scrambling ability that should help him dictate the action and stay safe. Although it can be hard to count on Pickett to land his one punch, the Englishmen could prove himself a solid dog pick for the price of $7,900.00.

Secondly, I went with Daniel Omilanczuk despite officially siding with Struve. Not only are heavyweights solid underdog picks by nature, but I honestly believe the Omielanczuk is live in this spot for the reasons listed in the breakdown above. As a durable southpaw with a gas tank, Daniel Omielanczuk makes a solid dog pick at $7,700.00. Finally, I went with Ian Entwistle despite officially siding with Rob Font. Although Font has more ways to win this fight on paper, Entwistle has more of an upside in regards to potential points as all his finishes are in the first round. For the price of $6,900.00, the leg-lock artist could round out your roster nicely.

Props worth looking at(5Dimes.eu):

-Saint Preux by Decision: +550 (0.5 Unit)
-Pickett by Decision: +230 (.25 Unit)
-Struve/Omelianczuk over 1 1/2: -145 (1 Unit)

Playable favorites for your parlays:

-Gegard Mousasi
-Albert Tumenov
-Adriano Martins

Fights to avoid:

-Rob Font vs Ian Entwistle
-Davey Grant vs Damian Stasiak
-Danny Roberts vs Mike Perry

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

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

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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.

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UFC 217: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Rose Namajunas Preview

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UFC 217 is hoping to explode Madison Square Garden with a stacked card featuring three title fights.

One of the three title fights, is a bout between women’s strawweight champion, undefeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0-0) and rising star #4-ranked Rose Namajunas (7-3-0).

What we have here is a fight between an aggressive, clinical technician in Joanna, and an unpredictable, well rounded submission artist in Rose.

Joanna is regarded as (out of both male & female fighters) one of the best strikers in the UFC. Undefeated in both kickboxing & MMA with her calculated method of increasing the pace and volume as the rounds go by until what looked like a  fight starts to look close to assault & battery.

With Vegas odds having Joanna as -600 to Rose’s +400  there is no secret that Joanna is highly favoured to win. One can get a clearer picture to why this is by looking at some of her records..

  • Has never lost a professional MMA fight
  • Most sig. strikes landed in a UFC Title Fight
  • 2nd most sig. strikes landed in a UFC fight
  • Most legs kicks landed in a UFC fight
  • – List Info pulled from MMAJunkie –

Rose began her UFC career since the weight classes’ inception into the ranks, in the TUF house. Winning all her fights by stoppage, but coming up short against Carla Esparza for the inaugural women’s strawweight championship. Rose went back to the drawing board to reset, improve and come back stronger.

Rose has fought a high level striker from Poland before in Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and lost via split decision on her way to the title. True to Rose’s form however, she came back better, smarter and more dangerous, securing a win over touted UFC prospect Michelle Waterson. Dispatching “The Karate Hottie” with a perfectly timed high kick that she finished off with a rear naked choke in round two.

Rose’s perseverance, will and ability to overcome her career misfortunes & failures as well as personal problems at home, has granted her nothing but success. Her grit & drive is on display every time she fights. Looking sharper, more refined, well rounded and dynamic, achieving the accolade of “Most submission wins in UFC women’s starwweight history.” 

Joanna has shown to be beyond dominant and ahead of her competitors, time and time again. So far nobody has found a real weakness in her game or has been able to exploit one if they did. Out striking strikers, out grinding grinders and nullifying grapplers of all types. Yet she has never faced a fighter as well rounded & explosively creative as Rose, who is happy to strike and then throw a flying arm bar from standing, seemingly out of the blue. Uncertainty and on the fly creativity is hard to train for. So, though on paper the favour is for Joanna, the devil is in the details and the details are what make this fight so compelling!

Jul 8, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Joanna Jedrezejczyk (red gloves) fights Claudia Gadelha (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

If Rose beats Joanna, she achieves the dream she has sweat, cried and bled for over the past 4 years. It will catapult her to a very different echelon of fighter hierarchy, UFC fame and financial security. She will also have beaten one of only two current UFC Champions who are undefeated in their MMA Career in “JJ”. (Cody Garbrandt, who will fight on the same card in the following match up against TJ Dillashaw, is the other).

If Joanna wins, she will tie Ronda Rousey’s record of most title defenses in women’s UFC History. She will have effectively “cleaned out” the division and from there the she can chose to break Ronda’s record, or go up to the new 125-pound division for a super fight.

A lot to lose, a lot to gain, two super elite competitors, two fighters who are known for giving spectacular performances at a high level, to the bitter end. Despite neither fighter reaching 5″7, & only 115lbs, make no mistake, this fight is Monumentally HUGE! Regardless of the outcome, expect to be entertained.

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Khabib vs Barboza UFC 219 breakdown

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All Credit to https://article.wn.com for the image

Khabib vs Barboza has been made official for UFC 219 and it promises to be an absolute cracker, so in this article, I’m going to give a full breakdown of this fantastic fight.

UFC 219 just got a whole lot better with the addition of Khabib vs Barboza to the main card, Khabib will be hungry to grab a victory in his first fight since his submission win over Michael Johnson at UFC 205.

However, UFC fans will be crossing their fingers and hoping that the fight does happen as Khabib has been scheduled to fight in the main event, back in April 2016, but his opponent Ferguson had to pull out of their scheduled main event because doctors had found fluid and blood in his lungs. Khabib also pulled out of there fight at UFC 209 because he was hospitalized trying to cut weight for there highly anticipated bout, which played down his chances at him getting a title shot against McGregor. This fight is a chance for him to once again prove himself to get that title shot. Hopefully, we do not see a repeat of these past scheduled fights for Khabib and hopefully, we can see him back in the octagon for UFC 219.

I take no credit for this image

Now onto Barboza, who is an explosive and aggressive fighter, his last three fights have resulted in three wins for the Brazilian who won his last fight by TKO/KO with his latest loss coming from Ferguson by way of submission at the Ultimate Fighter Finale, back in 2015.

This Brazilian fighter prefers to stand and trade with his opponents and usually outclasses his opponents on the feet, however, most of Barboza’s losses have come by submission, one of those opponents being Michael Johnson (who Khabib beat by submission) so Barboza may want to work on his submission defence and ground game altogether because Khabib is a very dominant fighter who can control the fight and has a strong ground game so he will be looking to take Barboza to the ground.

Barboza needs to try to take control of the fight away from Khabib and keep it stood up to try and outclass Khabib, which will make for a very Interesting bout on December the 30th and many will be tuning in to see how it turns out.

I believe Khabib will walk with the victory over Barboza at UFC 219 in a fight which promises to be exciting and aggressive throughout.

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