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: 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 strange night of action from Fight Night 30

machidaLyoto Machida ahead of his main event fight – Source: Bleacher Report

I watched the fights the other night, and here are my thoughts on what went down. Thanks for checking out The Real Mid Card, and hit ‘Follow’ for UFC posts every Sunday.

Tonight is UFC Fight Night 30 live from Manchester. It’s a six fight card. Here are my predictions: First up, we have Harris v Lineker: Lineker didn’t make weight so he is likely to weigh around 140lbs. Harris made weight but looks like a small fly weight. Harris is a Brit but I really can’t see him winning this. Lineker by whatever. Sakara v Mousoke: Sakara by decision. Parke v Tuck: Both would have have been TUF vets but Tuck suffered a nasty toe injury on his fight to get in the house. Tuck is undefeated. Parke is a slow burning grinder. I see Tuck trying to starch him early. Tuck by TKO in round one.

Manuwa v Jimmo: Manuwa is a tough as shit striker from the UK. Jimmo could well be his kryptonite. The x-factor here is the wrestling of Manuwa. I hope Manuwa wins by a a way of a beautifully violent knockout,  but I fear he will get laid on. If Manuwa wins, he needs to call out the top ten now. This has the potential to be fight or KO of the night, or both. Please MMA Gods, make it Manuwa by KO.

Pearson v Guillard. This has the potential to be a barnburner. Pearson is a Brit who likes a good brawl, and Guillard is a man with an inane ability to turn peoples lights out. Unfortunately for Guillard, he has an allergy to submissions. Pearson trains at Alliance. You can bet your arse he has trained submissions like he eats pies between fights. The question with Pearson is how will he react to the crowd. Will he stick to the game plan or will he give the crowd a blood bath? Guillard also, when threatened by a wrestler, has a tendency to freeze and not let his hands go, and will always put himself in a position to get taken down. This fight is definitely a toss em fight. I’m going with Pearson. I think his head is in a better place, and wow have you seen what he goes home to?

Finally the main event of the evening. Machida v Munoz. I’m not even going to mess about here. Machida all the way. However if it goes past the second round, the fight may begin to fall in favour of Munoz. But I’m going for Machida with a second round knockout.

What a strange card. A far cry from last week’s balls to the wall explosion of excitement. Let’s take a look at the actual results: My predictions were pretty naff if I’m honest, but hey ho, Lineker won with brutal body shots. Tuck went for a semi rally in round one but then fell victim to his own lack of conditioning and lost in what was a pretty dire decision win for Parke. Sakara has to get cut now, after he lost his fourth fight in a row to a welterweight. He rocked Musuka early but ended up getting finished with a sweet armbar.

Manuwa won but not by violence. He won by Jimmo’s own body breaking down. The co-main was building up to a nice slug fest but ended prematurely by an illegal knee and was therefore deemed a no contest. Now for the main event of the evening. Machida and Munoz played Patticake and danced for about three minutes, then Machida blasted Munoz with a head kick and it was all over. It was a very strange night. I read that the pre-lims were great but sadly I could not watch them. The main event was short and sweet. Maybe its the blues from the aftermath of the amazing 166 card. Its going to be a long time until we get another like that. Next week TUF has two fights. Look out for my write up of that. Chow for now.

Thanks for reading.

Arun Paul Smith

UFC: Hill goes down to Brit Wootten on The Ultimate Fighter

hill_josh640Hill and Wootten battle it out – Source: Al Powers/Zuffa LLC/Getty

Hello and thanks for checking out my thoughts on this week’s episode of TUF.

In the aftermath of last week’s fight, Dana gives a rarely seen pep talk to the victor, Pennington. It’s Fathers Day and Rousey brings the daddies of the house a few presents. One of the daddies is getting seriously home sick. There are some pranks this week courtesy of Team Tate. We see pictures of Edmund Rousey, Which Dana quickly brings down, except for the one in the sauna. Rousey is not happy. In this week’s fight, Hill from Team Tate and Wootten from Team Rousey.

Prediction: I’m going with Wootten. He is a Brit and has a real chin apparently.

Round One: The fight begins with Hill getting the body lock on. That leads to a take down and now he has the back, looking for a choke. He nearly gets it, but now it’s back to the feet. Wootten connects with big shots, but the round ends with no major drama. Round 1 to Hill, for me.

Round Two: Wootten bangs Hill with a huge knee that could KO an elephant. Hill is on Queer Street and Wooten is on top with the ground and pound. They get back to feet, and it’s another knee from Wootten. They separate and Wootten goes for a take down, smothering with strikes and now trying to take the back. He loses it and now he is on bottom. Round 2 goes to Wootten, in my opinion.

Round Three: Wootten is shooting early against the cage with strikes. Hill is tired. Wootten is the most active. But three minutes in, there is nothing significant from either. Hill hits with a spinning backfist which leads to Wootten getting a take down. Wootten is looking to coast but doing enough to keep the fight from being stood up. The round and the fight ends.

Result: Had to go to Wootten and it did. The next fight picks are no brainers because it’s come down to the last people who haven’t fought. We get two fights, but we have to wait until two weeks time. That’s annoying! I’m going to preview and review UFC 166 next. It’s a huge card, and definitely not one to miss. Come back and take a look!

Thanks for reading!

Arun Paul Smith