Saturday, May 29, 2010

UFC: 114 Turn to Stone

Dana White, Commissioner, walked to the stage holding and oil soaked egret by its scrawny neck. "Black on black crime!" He declared, strangling the egret, its eyes bugging and, finally, relaxing.

Forbes vs. Jensen

No interest. Jensen by decision.

Riley vs. Brammer

Riley is entertaining but can be his own worst enemy. Riley by decision.

Guillard vs. Lowe

Guillard can be submitted like an application. But that doesn't happen here. Guillard by 2nd round KO.

Cane vs. Diabate

Most people are saying Cane, but he has disappointed before. Does that mean that Diabate hasn't? No, but I am taking him anyway. I like his striking. Diabate by 3rd round TKO.

Escudero vs. Lauzon

If you haven't been following the gossip, Dan Lauzon's brother and the rest of his camp gave him the boot last week because they don't think he takes fighting seriously. That is a rough break. I wouldn't have picked him anyway. Escudero wrestles him to smithereens and hurts him for a 2nd round TKO.

Abdullah vs. Kim

I am a big fan of both guys. Abdullah really emerged from nowhere to be a real, old-school striker. He also displayed a surprising nack to survive, and win, on the ground. I just can't see how Kim is a good match-up for him though. Kim is a strong, tough guy who will get take downs and will hold his position and not get arm-barred. I would be just as happy to see either guy win, but I have to go with Kim for a TKO in the 3rd.

Sanchez vs. Hathaway

Yes! That isn't my enthusiasm, just the excess remnants of Diego's. Yes! Sanchez moves back up a weight class and will win a decision because he will out scramble, out position and out pace Hathaway who is a decent fighter. Sanchez by decision.

Duffee vs. Russow

Apparently the UFC wants to hype Duffee. His win streak continues. Duffee by 1st round

Nogueira vs. Brilz

The strange thing is, Brilz record ain't that bad. However, Nog really seems to be in the zone lately. I think he takes this win with only a small struggle, but remember, he is the fighter that launched Sokudjo by becoming his KO victim. Brilz is perfectly capable of hurting him. But I think Nogueira gets the KO in the 3rd after a good fight.

Bisping vs. Miller

I say it every time, I just don't believe in Bisping. It isn't that I don't find him likable or that I haven't been impressed by his ability to regain guard or his stamina. There is a lot to like about Bisping. But whatever it is that makes me never bet against a Diaz makes me never bet for Bisping. I just don't think he has it all together. Strangely I have a Diaz corollary rule; I also never bet against a Miller. True, they do lose, but that isn't the crux of the rule. Neither Jim nor Dan are guys that I count out of any match. Did Dan get out wrestled by Chael Sonnen and out struck by Damian Meia? Yes. Will that change my mind? No. I also usually go against fighters that can't put in a good camp. Miller's unfortunate situation with an ill child has to be trying for him. It must be difficult. I count all of this against him but then must make the pick for him do to the rare crushing sub power he has that Bisping will never taste as hard as he might work. Miller by sub in the 2nd.

Jackson vs. Evans

And we come down to it. Culturally I align with Jackson. We come from similar places and he talks like the kids from my school talk. Also, on a time line of my involvement with the sort I align with Jackson as he was ruling Japan when I got here. However, I agree to a certain degree with Rashad Evans critique of Rampage; he does play knowingly, to some degree, a stereotyped character of a Southern black man. I would make sure to include in that statement that Jackson is clearly very intelligent as the fool he makes out of this act often isn't him even when it sounds that way on first listen. I still remember his answer to the reporters question when he was fighting in Pride, "Where do you think you will be in 5 years?" "Well, I am 23 right now, so I reckon that will put me at about 28 in 5 years." But then he also had incidents where he molested reporters who didn't know they were allowed to say, "Stop!" He is also clearly nuts as the story of his religious conversion and his runaway monster truck episode make clear. There was a time when I loved Rampage completely but these parts of him have soured on me and I only like him in bits now. One bit I didn't like was the lazy and petulant coach that also riled Rashad Evans. I usually back a fighter that I feel trains better and it is no question here that that is Rashad Evans. Who has more actual skill? It would probably be Jackson, even though Evans is a bit quicker in hand speed. The only issue, and it has always been the issue, is that Rampage Jackson is one of the streakiest fighters out there. He has excellent boxing defense. He has excellent submission defense and defensive wrestling. He has a great chin and natural power. I have said here before that Evans, while a wrestler, wrestles poorly in MMA and wears himself down trying to push people around the cage. Jackson has notoriously absent leg-kick defense. All things being even, I would take Jackson to win and not trust Evans chin. I don't trust Evan's chin still, but the only we evidence we have that Jackson trained well was the UFC program that also convinced people that Dan Hardy could fight GSP. I can't stake anything on Jackson's consistency as there is none. If he comes out and fights to his potential, then he wins going away. I can't guarantee it so I go with someone who I know put in the time. Evans by split decision.

There it is, plug up an oil spill with it.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.