UFC: 168 Weidman v Silva preview

weidmansilvaAnderson Silva looking shaky – Source: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There were no events and no Ultimate Fighter this week, so I’m going to preview the most eagerly awaited card of the year. December 28 sees Chris Weidman take on Anderson Silva again to crown the undisputed champ. Ronda Rousey gets another go at actually breaking Miesha Tate’s arm. Barnet faces brown, Miller faces Camoes and Poirer takes on Brandao. These bouts make up the main card.

I’ll start from the very beginning of the card. First up is Peralta v Payan, followed by Volker v Macario. For the Facebook pre-lims, I’ll play it save and pick the guys I’ve heard off. They are Payan and Volker. I’m not expecting much from either of these fights but I expect them to both be decisions. In the pre-lims, first up is Howard v Bahadursda. Howard was a welterweight with mixed results until he got cut by UFC. He was brought back for a fight at short notice against Uriah Hall, who incidentally fights Chris Leben on this card. Howard won that one by decision. Bahardurza burst out of the blocks on the scene, but has been off for ages with injuries. He has two fights: a win against Paulo Thiago and a loss to the Stun Gun. I think that Howard is hungry. He will play this game wisely and get it to the ground. I’m predicting Howard to win by decision.

Gamburyan v Siver: Gamburyan is a stocky judo guy, and Siver kicks like a mule. I think the latter will try to use his kicking game and might catch Gamburyan with a liver shot for a TKO victory. Tibau v Johnson: decision decision decision. Tibau by decision. However, Johnson is coming off an exciting win over Joe Lauzon, but still I can’t see him being able to dictate the fight against the much bigger Tibau. Uriah hall takes on Chris Leben in a battle of two guys perpetually on the chopping block. Hall is still looking for that highlight reel performance that can match his TUF one. He seems to be a man with so much talent but he is potentially too nice for a career in the UFC.

Leben is still in the company because of the first Ultimate Fighter appearance. He still has that danger knockout power but his body and chin are giving up on him. This looks like it should be a young hungry matador against a dying incapacitated bull, but with Hall’s head and Leben’s fists, that’s a result that’s far from guaranteed. With that in mind, I’m going to do the unthinkable and predict that Leben will knock Hall out of the UFC and pick up KO of the night. I then expect him to hang up the gloves after an epic final performance.

On to the main card. Poirer v Brandao. This fight has the potential to be a bloody fight of the night. Poirer has fought the better competition and I expect him to win by decision. That being said, it won’t be easy. Brandao has that explosiveness and can hit him with a deluge of punches, kicks and flying knees. A ballet of beautiful violence it will surely be. Next up, Jim miller gets given the opportunity to win a fight. His opponent has one solitary UFC win in four attempts, and that was against a guy called Tommy Hayden. Jim Miller is going to be too much for him. He is better in every area. Miller isn’t much of a finisher and I expect that he will win this fight by decision, but depending on the ref he may secure a TKO victory.

Barnett v Browne: Browne has been looking good lately. Barnett has been around forever and is a former UFC Champion and a submission ace who is still improving his striking all the time. He put an absolute beating on Frank Mir in his UFC return. Can he do the same to the young lion? In my opinion, yes he can. Browne is capable of winning this fight by simply being bigger and using his nasty high kick, but Barnett just has way too much experience. Nothing will phase him. If he ends up in danger he has enough savvy to get out of it. He will use the clinch and just beat on Browne until Browne quits, gets TKO’d or the round ends. It’ll be rinse and repeat. One of them might even go for a crazy submission. Barnett should win by whatever means he chooses.

It’s time to look at the first main event between Rousey and Tate. The latter replaced Kat Zingano after she got injured. The obvious question is has Tate worked on her arm bar defence? She must have done, but what do you do against someone who can always see a way to get it and has the most perfect technique for it? I love both of these girls, but I’m really not sure about this. Has Rousey’s fame and movie making took her eyes off the prize? Is a person already talking about retirement really wanting to fight anymore? We will find out, but I pick Rousey by way of an arm-breaking arm bar.

As for the main event of the evening, we all know what happened in that last fight. We have all seen that video with the KO and the damage done. What we don’t know is which Anderson Silva is going to show up. We can all agree Silva took his clowning too far and if he himself was honest he would agree. I believe he was winning the round until he got caught. The biggest factor going into this fight is Chris Weidman. Before that KO, I truly felt he was flustered and it was only a matter of time until Anderson pulled the trigger. Was that Weidman putting on his poker face and was he actually in control of the fight the whole entire time? Those questions will be answered.

With a heavy heart, I’m picking Weidman to retain the title. I saw a video of Anderson training and he looked really slow. When decline comes in, it comes in hard and I think it’s coming for Silva. I was horrified to see Silva get KO’d but I can see it happening again here. He is a victim of his own tenacity and I think Weidman has his number. Whatever the outcome, I can’t wait for this fight.

Thanks for reading.

Arun Paul Smith

UFC: Johnson downs Benevidez within two minutes

johnsonThe flyweight title was on the line – Source: http://www.mmamania.com

Last night it was UFC on Fox. The broadcast contained some unexpected endings and some weirdness. Ill start with the weirdness. Cody McKenzie came into his fight against Sam Stout, with shorts bearing no sponsors. All he had on them was the number 907, which was handwritten. At one point during the fight, the referee Herb Dean had to pull the label off in the midst of action on the ground. An article said he may have had his sponsor blocked minutes before the fight.

The main card started with three back-to-back decisions with the wins going to La Flare, Lauzon and Mendes, over McGee, Danzig and Lentz respectively. All of them were entertaining fights. The stand-out was Mendes’ inability to do anything much apart from the occasional take-down. He should have been able to blow away Lentz and nearly did in that first round

The co-Main Event saw Faber take care of business with relative ease, putting McDonald away with a tight guillotine in the second round. As for the main event of the evening, the flyweight title was on the line. Johnson defeated Benavidez to retain the title. It’s not the fact he won that surprised me, it’s the fashion in which he did it. Him winning by a quick and devastating KO within two minutes of the first round was a shock – a great finish for Johnson’s resume and highlight reel.

Thanks for reading,

Arun Paul Smith

UFC: Hunt and Bigfoot Silva put on a real clinic at Fight Night 33

bigfootsilva

“Bigfoot” Silva heading to the ring – Source: MMA Junkie

This weekend UFC held another fight night, this time in Australia. The night started off with decent fights from relative unknowns. The best fight from the undercard would later be shown on the main event broadcast, but more on that in a bit. The first fight of the night was a female fight between Jackson product Julia Kedzie and Pitball brothers product Bethe Corriera. This fight was basically a sloppy kick boxing match. To be honest I don’t even know what planet Kedzie was on. I’ll give Corriera a pass as it’s her UFC debut. I do struggle to see what Kedzie was doing fighting though. If Kedzie is on another planet, then her mentor Greg Jackson is smoking crack, and was meowing between rounds and telling Kedzie that she was winning. Alas Kedzie lost and has since announced her retirement from the sport altogether.

Next up we get Hester v Andrews. This fight was turning into a great scrap. Dylan took the first round and Hester took the second. Unfortunately for Andrews, in the dying seconds of Round Two, he threw a crazy haymaker that got blocked and resulted in his shoulder popping out. Hester wins by TKO after the doctor stoppage. That was a great fight with an unfortunate ending.

Next up we see a heavyweight bout featuring the people’s champ Pat Berry and big boy Soa Peleli. I had Berry down as being the victor in this fight. I felt that Soa’s appalling cardio would be the death of him and that Berry would KO him. Berry looked a lot smaller than I remember him ever being and Soa had to cut to the limit. Soa looked enormous in comparison. Barry looked liked a small light heavyweight. After some swinging, Soa used his immense bulk to take Berry down and eventually got the full mount, preceding to Donkey Kong or even Hulk smash on Berry’s face until he got the KO and the fight was stopped.

Berry has been KO’d viciously in a lot of fights now, even when he is winning. Berry is just not big enough for the weight class. He should retire or take a year off and get down to 205. I like berry at 205. I think he would have power and speed. He wouldn’t have as much as Jon Jones but he would have more power and the best striking of anyone in the division. What happens next for Berry is between him and Dana White. I urge you Dana, to please give Berry one more chance at 205.

Then the next two fights are an absolute must see. Perosh v Bader: This fight was basically Bader having target practice against the oldest man still competing in the UFC. Perosh is tough and that much is obvious, but the man got battered for fifteen minutes and had no route to beat the younger man. Occasionally, there were moments when he would tee off on Bader and may have even rocked him but it was a cruel thing to watch. Neither the ref or the corner were willing to have mercy on the poor man. I kind of feel that Bader is at fault. He could have easily set up positions where stoppage would have been necessary but instead he coasted to a decision.

Shogun v Aussie Te Huna: For the record I can not trust Hua. His knees and cardio left the building a long time ago. He follows stellar brutal efforts with horrible sluggish nightmares. Let’s not forget that he just lost to Sonnen by a guillotine choke. Nobody in the world predicted that and nobody in the world believes that it actually happened. Everyone thought Chael would win but not like that. Strangely Chael predicted that Rua would win while Evans went for Te Huna. I never saw the weigh-ins but damn I wish I had. The result of this fight was a KO that was so epic, so unexpected and so beautiful. I can’t remember another KO that happened this year at all. I can’t even remember the fight, only the end. Te Huna comes in throwing a big shot with every fibre of his being, and then Hua counters with an uppercut so pin point and so on the button.

The strike literally sent Te Huna buckling to the canvas, completely losing his legs from underneath him in the process. Thank fucking god that Rua’s following strike missed because otherwise we may have witnessed our first UFC in-fight death. Now here is where me not seeing the weigh-ins is of huge importance. Rua looked amazing, I mean he looked a chiselled specimen – The most stud looking Hua ever, with no belly and no softness. Is he the next TRT recipient? I could care less.

I would like to see him fight Evans next. People say he should fight Rich Franklin, but I say no. Franklin hasn’t fought for so long. If franklin should have one more fight, I think it should be Perosh – A final fight for them both. If you put Franklin in there with Hua, he either wins because he fights a jacked up injured/no cardio Hua, or he gets annihilated. I don’t want that ever for franklin. Perosh makes perfect sense.

Now for the main event of the evening. If you thought that the night couldn’t get any better, and If you thought you couldn’t have your mind blown more, and if you thought that the next fight would end in a KO, well guess what…..wrong! Mark Hunt came in the best shape of possible his life. Silva came in with his head looking bigger than ever before. I felt that Silva would come in and try to take this fight to the ground on a submission or TKO hunt. What these two juggernauts gave us was five rounds of back and forth mixed martial arts.

Rounds 1 and 2 were slow burners with the two trying to find their range. Then something switched and the next three rounds were just full of crazy awesomeness. I spent most of the rounds screaming. I felt that Hunt did enough to win the fight. Had it not been for the ref, I truly believe that he could have finished the fight. I hope I’m remembering this right. As I recall, Hunt was throwing shots continuously. Silva was on the defensive looking knackered, with blood all over his face. The ref pause the action and got Silva looked at by the doctor.

The doctor let the fight continue. Guess what? He’s got some new found energy, throwing shots. Thankfully Hunt kept composed and carried on his business. The round ends and the scores were read. Hunt wins on the first score card. Immediately I’m thinking that it’s going to be a split decision. The next two judges score it an even 47 a piece. The fight is declared a majority draw. The ref looks bemused. The crowd is going nuts and the teams are holding up their fighters hands and the fighters hold each others hands up. Everyone claps and is happy with the result. I just witnessed one hell of a fight. The fight is declared fight of the night. Mark Hunt has broken hands but he’s still happy as shit. Amazing!

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

UFC: What did the Ultimate Fighter season finale have in store?

diazmaynard

Diaz and Maynard headlined the show – Source: Scott Petersen(MMA Weekly)

So, another season of TUF comes to an end. With that comes the finale. We have Rakoczy v Pena for the women’s contract, and Holdsworth v Grant for the men’s. I haven’t seen the fights yet but I had a sneaky peak at the results for this write up. Let me start by saying that if I had done picks for this, I would have done horrendously. The event was headlined by the third and deciding rubber match between Maynard and Diaz. The latter put a beatdown on his TUF rival, en route to a TKO victory. Diaz pasted him from the opening until Yves waived the fight off, with Maynard collapsing to the canvas shortly afterwards.

Pena got the win by TKO after grounding and pounding her victim until the ref had stop the fight with seconds to spare. I thought Rakoczy could use her boxing to keep Pena at bay, similarly to how she did Pennington. Obviously this was not the case. I’m still not sold on Pena as a contender yet though. Holdsworth submitted Grant early. I felt that grant would be good enough everywhere to be able to keep the fight where he wanted it, wearing down Holdsworth. Oh well, better luck next time Grant. Duke v Morgan had a battle of two tall hotties. Duke battered Morgan to get the unanimous decision. Pennington took on the nerd. This was as close to a gimme for Pennington as can be, but it appears that Modiferi made her work for a decision win.

The one fight I did see was a flyweight bout between Sampo and Benoit. Sampo weighed in 2ĺbs over. The fight was basically the bigger Sampo bashing on the tough sob Benoit, until he was able to lock a sub and force him to tap. I felt straight away that this had the potential to be the fight of the night, and it was named so. Benoit may not have won the battle but he certainly won the war. As Sampo failed to make weight, his share of the bonus was given to Benoit who netted himself 100k and a percentage of Sampo’s purse, plus his own salary. Happy Christmas to you sir. What a jammy bastard!

Thanks for reading,

Arun Paul Smith

UFC: A look back at the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter

wallclimbRousey flipping the infamous bird – Source: jerseygirlsports.com

The most recent episode of TUF was said to have a shocking result. The previews showed Britain’s own Grant crying, which got me thinking that for some reason he could not continue. It was the coaches challenge, that challenge being a wall climb. The two were toe-to-toe for the most part but Rousey put a spurt on towards the end to claim the victory and the cash for herself and her team. Another interesting part of the show was seeing Rousey grapple with one of her fellow female coaches. She basically had her mate in a position where her ass was up the air. The camera appeared to be dead focused on said ass. The clothing covering it was a little bit see through. That was nice.

The rest of the episode was basically building up to a non-event. In actual fact it was Grant’s opponent that could not make weight. The frustrating thing being that he himself got a pass because his own opponent could not make weight. He gets kicked off the show and we have a Brit in the finale. Next week we have the semi-final for the ladies. This fight actually does appear to happen and I believe that the winner of this fight determines the winner of the whole season for the ladies. As tough as Pena is, I just think that these two ladies are a whole load tougher. This fight should be very entertaining.

Thanks for reading this recap,

Arun Paul Smith

UFC: Georges St-Pierre beats Johny Hendricks and hints at retirement!

stpierrehendricksA friendly handshake – Source: Stephen R. Sylvanie (USA TODAY)

Thanks for checking out The Real Mid Card. We hope you enjoy this blow-by-blow account of UFC 167: St-Pierre v Hendricks. Let’s see how our MMA man found the show, as it happened.

Decisions, lots of decisions. The first fight of the night ended by TKO, but we have had a steady diet of decisions recently. The most surprising of the decisions so far is in the Ebersole v Story fight. Story won but I felt that he was going to have problems with Ebersole’s unorthodox striking. Ebersole decided to be rather unimaginative. He didn’t even start with his crazy roll kick. He seemed flat and slow. Maybe fatherhood and 60 plus fights is catching up with him.

Cerrone v Dunham: This is bound to be a decision but I see Dunham getting the nod. Cerrone is on fire right now. I was saying to a friend the other day that sometimes Cerrone looks like a world beater, and other times he looks shit. Right now he looks great. Cerrone took Round One by 10-9, and is playing target practice in Round Two. Dunham is bleeding from the eyebrow now. Cerrone gets a sweet takedown and assumes the position. Cerrone gets the triangle choke – nice. It looks like he might get the sub of the night. I love Cerrone but is he really back? Time will tell.

The main card is starting next. I love hearing Rogan and White try to out-shout each other. White clearly has a man-crush on Lawler. Bagautinov v Elliot: The latter comes out looking like a mad bum. Bagautinov seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges. It was 10 to 9 Bagautinov in the first. There are some cool scrambles in Round Two, with Elliot on top with constant patter. There are strikes being  thrown but none connecting significantly. Id score the round 10 even. In Round Three, Bagutinov appears to land more strikes and gets the decision.

Woodley v Koscheck are both guys throwing big punches. Woodley is huge and clearly has the most power. It’s sweet dreams for Koscheck. Lawler v MacDonald: I’m excite for this fight, and I won’t be blinking! In Round One, Lawler was the more aggressive, attacking with leg kicks, it went 10-9 in his favour. The second round was basically a non-event. MacDonald got it by virtue of a take down. I make that one round even. In Round Three, aside from a late takedown by MacDonald, the round was all Lawler. Lawler very nearly got the finish, but did get the win by split decision. God knows what fight the other judge watched. Next up is Sonnen v Evans: Evans makes his money with an easy TKO stoppage over Sonnen.

Its time for the Main Event of the evening. Hendricks arguably got Round One, St-Pierre won the second and third. Hendricks picked up Round Four to even it up for me. It’s all to play for! I believe GSP won the fifth and should win the fight. He does, by split decision. The great man now seems to have retired. I’m not surprised about that, and I think I mentioned this in a previous post. His legacy is undeniable. If he retires and that was the last time we see him in the Octagon, he leaves at the top of his game. I wish him all the best for the future and thank him for all his fights. I enjoyed them all.

Thanks for reading,

Arun Paul Smith

UFC: A preview of Pierre/Hendricks, TUF and much more!

UFC World Tour 2013.

St. Pierre and Hendricks ahead of their big fight – Source: The Star Phoenix

Thanks for checking out The Real Mid Card. We hope you enjoy our latest extensive look into the recent happenings in the world of the UFC, courtesy of our resident MMA guy Arun Paul Smith. Beware, this article contains some strong language.

So here’s the deal. We have had two events this week AND The Ultimate Fighter. TUF was pretty much a non-event. Michael Wootten lost to the much favoured American Helmsworth. I’ve got to honest with you, I’m not really caring much about the men this season. The women are the only thing intriguing me enough to continue watching the show. On

Wednesday, we had a UFC event titled Fight for the troops 3. It was actually an enjoyable event. Lots of quick fights and some exciting decisions. The main event was quick. Kennedy getting the TKO early in the first. Another fight on the card that stuck out was Khabilov v Masvidol. Good back and forth action, with dance-like, almost majestic ground work with sub attempts and escapes. The submission of the night for me was in Chiesa v Smith. I’ve never liked Smith, but the way Chiesa got the sub was a thing of beauty.

The shock of the night was Bobby Green winning, but after a kick to the nuts. He kicked his opponent twice in the cup and was deducted a point. He threw yet another kick. His opponent fell to the ground grabbing his manhood. McCarthy thought “Fuck this shit!” and stopped the fight, giving the win by TKO to green. McCarthy said the shot was legal, but what legal shot sounds like it hit the cup. Even on the replays, you can hear that thud as something makes contact with the top of the cup.

Last night was Belfort v Hendo, coming from Brazil. Belfort became the only man in the world to even come close to knocking out Hendo. The stoppage was correct, but the fact that Hendo was still lucid and making an attempt to continue to fight by holding onto Belfort’s ankle leads me to believe that the call of Belfort winning by KO was a bit strong. The question mark that always hangs over any Belfort win is his TRT usage. He has one of the best physiques in the business. How much of that is down to steroids? It’s true that he looks like he did when he was lamping dudes, back in the dark ages of pre-Zuffa UFC. Does anybody really care? Its a bit strange. I can’t put my finger on how I feel about it.

Belfort is now a title contender after Jon Jones plays slap n tickle with Teixiera. The rightful challenger Mr Gustuffson is fighting Jimi Manuwa in London. Don’t get me wrong, I’m Fucking happy about that. Hopefully, I’ll get to go to it! But it’s so bad that he will have to take a dangerous fight with no real upside and a whole lot of risk, while Belfort gets another chance to lose against someone who’s arm he really should have already broken. The question remains, how much has TRT got to do with it. There were plenty of other nice fights on the card and I actually really enjoyed it on the whole.

Coming up next weekend it’s Pierre v Hendricks. I am super excited for this card. Its ridiculously stacked and contains very hard-to-predict fights. This could potentially be the most amazing card of the year. Going back to Pierre v Hendricks. I’m going to try some predictions.

Cerrone v Dunham: I love Cerrone, but he can be amazing one day and terrible the next. That being said I’m going to pick Dunham as he’s tough and good everywhere. Here is a fun fact. Both of their last losses came at the hands of Raphael Dos Anjos. I think that Dunham has a mental edge. I think it will be a decision, maybe even a split, but Dunham gets the nod. Elliott v Bagautinov: I pick Bagautinov simply because I picked against a person with a similar name before and that went badly wrong.

Koscheck v Woodley: Similar styles but I’m going with Woodley because he hasn’t yet suffered from a five round beat down at the hands of GSP. I think GSP stole his soul. He has lost two in a row and I think this will be his 3rd. MacDonald v Lawler, the man that give koscheck his last loss: MacDonald has been on a tear since his loss to Condit many moons ago. He has the tools to beat Lawler, but I think that his tenacity will be his undoing. Lawler has ripped through his opponents since coming back to the UFC. He seems to have put the pieces together and I feel that he can showcase his veteran skills and make a run for the title. Lawler by a nasty KO.

Evans v Sonnen: The question going into this fight is what can Sonnen bring to the table that Evans hasn’t ate before? Simple answer. Absolutely nothing. I’m not sure what Evans’ aspirations are, but I do know that he can and will beat Sonnen. He already beat a heavy-handed replica in Hendo. Sonnen is faster than Hendo, but he is not faster than Evans. Evans may well smash Sonnen into retirement.

And now my prediction for the main event of the evening. Johnny Hendricks gets to battle the most dominate champion in UFC welterweight history. Hendricks is a stud wrestler with heavy hands. GSP is a mixed martial artist, with no graspable weakness and an ability to make a mistake and seemingly never make those mistakes again. The biggest question for me though is how much does GSP still want this? This fight will definitively answer this question.

Hendricks doesn’t use his wrestling for takedowns, he uses it for strikes. He is becoming his own biggest fan and loves those knock-outs. The last person to KO GSP was Matt Serra, and that was mainly because GSP was reckless and got caught. GSP is going to pop in-and-out of Hendricks’ range and hit him with those pin point jabs. He may use kicks to take out Hendricks’ legs and go for the double-leg takedown. GSP does not want to stand and bang, he wants this on the ground to work his classic ground and pound game. I think he will use his game plan and destroy Hendricks over the five rounds. If he can weather the first two rounds, this fight is all his. For Hendricks to beat GSP, he will have to use his wrestling and be heavy with the use of strikes against the cage, working the body and then the head to break down GSP. I’m predicting that GSP will win it by soul destroying decision.

Thanks for reading,

Arun Paul Smith