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My Prediction and Thoughts on Mayweather vs McGregor – Las Vegas

Fight Prediction

Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

This is a very tough call for me because it presents a head vs heart dilemma. My head tells me that Mayweather has too many advantages inside the boxing ring over McGregor and that he will likely win the match. My heart is with McGregor because I have admired him since he joined the UFC and also because I been have a huge MMA fan for at least 10 years.

I made a video last night and recorded my thoughts on the fight in a little more depth. As I explain in the video below I see the most likely scenario as one in which Floyd wins somewhere in the middle rounds. However, I definitely think Conor has a real chance of winning. If I had to put a number on it I would say Conor has at least a 20% chance of winning.

On paper it seems like impossible task for any MMA fighter to beat a boxer with Mayweather experience and credentials, but if any MMA fighter can pull off an upset it would be the 29 yr old Notorious Conor McGregor. He is at his peak in every way as an MMA fighter and the 40 yr old Floyd is not at his peak, although he still appears to be in excellent condition. But, Father Time catches up with all athletes at some point and renders them incapable of doing what they once did.

There are a lot fascinating questions with this fight and they will be answered soon.

POST FIGHT THOUGHTS:

Well, I can’t say the outcome of this fight surprised me in least. I predicted that the most likely scenario for this fight was Mayweather winning by TKO/KO somewhere in the middle rounds. I did not think the fight would go distance, but going 10 rounds was a bit unexpected to me. I have to give Conor McGregor a lot credit for taking Mayweather 10 rounds and giving him a real challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UFC 200: Anderson Silva steps in as the Underdog

It was truly stunning news a couple of days ago when it was announced that Jon  “Bones” Jones was pulled from his HIGHLY anticipated showdown with Daniel Cormier for the UFC LHW title because he came up hot on pre-fight drug test. The UFC 200 main event was put into peril and UFC President Dana White  had to scramble to find respectable substitute for Jones. A number of prominent fighters volunteered, including Gegard Mousasi, who is the #9 ranked LHW in the world. Mousasi was already on the undercard, scheduled to fight in an another LHW bout and I was hoping Dana White would allow him to take on the Champ. Many others felt the same way and there were many calls to Dana White on social media, especially Twitter, to make that fight happen, but White went another direction and gave the nod to the legendary former UFC MW champ Anderson Silva. I think that choice caught many people by surprise, myself included, because Anderson normally fights at middle weight, although he walks around at 200 pounds or more when he isn’t cutting weight for a MW fight. More surprising though, at least to me, is that Anderson wanted this fight on such short notice, with no training camp at all.

So, now we have a very interesting fight indeed.

Dan Cormier (+410)

vs

Anderson “Spider” Silva (-375)

You very rarely see Spider Silva as a significant underdog, even now, in the twilight of his singularly great career. From a betting perspective I think Anderson is a great bet -375. Some Vegas books have Silva at -400 or -410. I totally understand that because Cormier is still arguably in his prime and is supremely talented. He has pretty much destroyed everyone in his path, but Jon Jones. But if there is one fighter out there, besides Jones, who has the skill set to deal with Cormier’s nearly superhuman strength and Olympic level wrestling ability it may indeed be the Spider. However, there a number of big flashing question marks concerning Silva. Just what kind of shape is Anderson really in? He weighed in a fairly trim 198 pounds, which is a good weight for his 6’2″ frame, but will he have the stamina to go more than a round or two with the powerful Cormier? Can Anderson, without a training camp, just go in there and wing it against a fighter at Cormier’s level. What will the Spider’s strategy be?

Part of me is still disappointed that Mousasi will not be Cormier’s opponent because I think he would have given Daniel a tough fight, but I think he also would have been a significant underdog. That said, after thinking it over, I think Silva vs Cormier is the most intriguing fight that UFC could have arranged. Although Silva is a big underdog he still has certain moves that very few UFC fighters have and even in his 40’s his quickness give him an advantage over most opponents. Cormier better not underestimate him or he may find himself receiving a flying knee to his face or a variety of other head kicks. Anderson is also very skilled on the ground so even if Cormier scores a takedown or several takedowns for that matter he may find himself in trouble if he gets caught in Anderson’s guard. Silva has quickly ended a few fights on the ground and in dramatic fashion. His submission (triangle armbar) victory over Chael Sonnen, in the closing minutes of the 5th round of a title fight he was losing, is an excellent example of just how dangerous Silva can be while on his back.

In the end, I do think Cormier will probably win this fight, but if Anderson Silva is in good shape he may shock the world here. If I had a chance to fly to Vegas tomorrow night and make a bet a couple of hundred bucks on this fight Silva would be my choice simply because I think he offers the best value.  It would also be very cool to see him add another win to his spectacular career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Predictions for UFC 200: Las Vegas

So, we have finally made it to UFC 200!! I look forward to this UFC event with great anticipation. I have been a serious fan of MMA for about 10 years now. I was always bullish on the UFC and I thought the promotion enjoy significant growth, but I must admit it has exceeded my expectations and probably the expectations of most other people in the MMA world. Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta bought the UFC for 2 million dollars in 2001.  The Fertitta’s and their partner UFC President Dana White are now rumored to be entertaining offers for the promotion that exceed4 Billion dollars!?!

I don’t think I have ever posted predictions for an entire UFC card, including the preliminary fights, but I going to give this one a shot. The entire card is stacked!! I must say I envy those that have tickets for this event in Vegas.

Main Card

Light Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier (+235) vs. Jon Jones (-305)

I have to go with Bones Jones. Both fighters are absolutely great, but Jones is simply the best fighter in UFC history imo. His size and reach advantage combined with outstanding wresting skills and extraordinary take defense give him the edge vs Cormier.

Heavyweight: Brock Lesnar (+130) vs. Mark Hunt (-160)

This late addition to the card is certainly welcome. It should a really interesting fight. It may not last very long, but it should not lack for action.

I think Brock is going to pull off the upset and win in return to the Octagon. Lesnar by ground and pound. This fight could also go Hunt by KO very easily, but I think Brock stands  decent chance of winning this fight. Lesnar himself has admitted that if the fight stays standing he will probably lose. The 42 yr old Hunt is a very experienced former kick boxer and powerful hitter that is very capable of KO’ing Lesnar or any other HW if he is able to land a clean shot. OTOH, Lesnar has also said if he can bring this fight to the ground it will be over for Hunt and I agree.

 

Women’s Bantamweight: Miesha Tate (-265) vs. Amanda Nunes (+205)

I have to pick Champion Miesha Tate here. I don’t know too much about Nunes, but I have followed Miesha Tate for a long time and I know she is a very solid, well rounded fighter.

Featherweight: Jose Aldo (-110) vs. Frankie Edgar (-120)

I think the near even odds do accurately reflect just how tough call this fight is. Two absolutely top tier fighters. I think Frankie is going avenge his prior loss to Aldo.

Jersey Strong wins by decision.

Heavyweight: Cain Velasquez (-305) vs. Travis Browne (+235)

I have to pick former HW Champ Cain Velasquez for this fight. Browne is a very capable HW and his size and reach may present some problems for Velasquez. However, if Cain is healthy I just don’t see Browne stopping him.

Fox Sports 1 Preliminary Card

Women’s Bantamweight: Cat Zingano (-170) vs. Julianna Pena (+140)

Another toss up. I’ll go Zingano simply because she

Welterweight: Johny Hendricks (-175) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (+145)

Hendricks

Bantamweight: T.J. Dillashaw (-400) vs. Raphael Assuncao (+300)

T.J. Dillashaw

Lightweight: Sage Northcutt (-335) vs. Enrique Martin (+255)

Northcutt is a significant favorite. I don’t know anything about his opponent, but Northcutt is a very promising fighter who has potential to become a huge star for the UFC because of his youth, spectacular athletic ability and good looks. Sage suffered his first defeat in his last fight and I don’t think he wants another L at this stage of his career.

UFC Fight Pass Preliminary Card

Lightweight: Diego Sanchez (-115) vs. Joe Lauzon (-115)

I have no idea how this fight will go, other than to say it probably won’t end in a decision. Oh, and there will probably be a lot of blood spilled in this too. I think that is a safe bet.

Ok, I have to make a choice here and I will go with Sanchez, but I won’t be surprised at all if Lauzon pulls this fight out.

Middleweight: Gegard Mousasi (-667) vs. Thiago Santos (+445)

Gegard Mousasi comes in as the big favorite and that is justified. He’s won 3 out of last 4 fights and he is still a top ten MW.

Lightweight: Jim Miller (-230) vs. Takanori Gomi (+180)

Miller. Going with the Jersey guy. That’s all I need to base my choice on. Seriously, both these guys are tough UFC veterans, but I think Miller

UFC 194: Aldo vs McGregor – Las Vegas – My Predictions

I am really looking forward to UFC 194. What a totally stacked card!! Thanks Dana White!

The Main Event alone makes this card very interesting, but the top 4 fights all feature excellent fighters. I think all of these fight have the potential to be great. There are no heavy favorites in the top 4 fights. The odds are very close and, frankly, making picks for these fights is very difficult because the fighters are so evenly matched, at least on paper. That may not turn out to be the case once the fights these guys really start trading punches and kicks. I can’t say that I would want to bet a lot of money on any of these fights because I could see every one them going either way. I honestly won’t be shocked if I go 0-4, but here are my predictions:

Featherweight Championship
Champion Jose Aldo (25-1) vs Interim Champion Conor McGregor (18-2)

Odds are basically even for this fight. This might be the toughest pick of all, but I’m going to pick McGregor despite the fact that I concerns about his reckless style. McGregor’s aggressive style is a two edged sword because it leaves him open at times and against a fighter as skilled as Aldo that may prove his undoing because Aldo is one the those fighters who can instantly end a fight with either his fist or feet. However, I think stylistically this is fight works in McGregor’s favor because Aldo is not a great wrestler and that is the type of fighter that I think would have the best chance of beating McGregor, although that fighter would have to have excellent striking as well (someone like Frankie Edgar). Not sure how it will happen, but going with Conor by KO. I think NcGregor’s height and reach advantage will be very helpful to him in this fight.

McGregor wins by TKO 3rd

Middleweight Championship
Champion Chris Weidman(13-0) vs Luke Rockhold (14-2)

Man, strike what I wrote above about Aldo vs McGregor being the toughest fight to pick on this card. This fight is just as difficult. I am a huge fan of both fighters. Both fighters are incredibly well rounded and extremely well trained. Very hard for me to pick against Rockhold, a former Strikeforce champion who has looked devastating in his last few fights. Rockhold thinks Weidman is slow and he will be able to exploit that. I’m not so sure. Weidman is not flashy, but the former NCAA Wrestling Champ is very discipled and has a wide array of weapons. I think Weidman will bring this fight to the ground and there is his wrestling will give him an advantage. Woodman wins by ground and pound.

Weidman wins by TKO, 4th Rd

Middleweight
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (22-3-1NC) vs Yoel Romero (10-1)
Romero is a former Olympic Silver medalist (Cuba – Freestyle Wrestling) who has soundly defeated everyone he has faced in the UFC, where he is 6-0. The guy is a real beast in the Octagon. But Jacare is a truly elite MMA fighter, a former Middleweight Champion in Strikeforce and a very highly decorated multiple time World Jiu Jitsu champion. There are very few UFC middleweights that can defeat Romero right now, but I think Jacare posses the skill and athletic ability to do it.

Souza wins by TKO, 3rd Rd

Welterweight
Demain Maia (21-6) vs Gunnar Nelson (16-1-1)
I admire both of these fighters. Two very intelligent fighters with superb ground games, although both are very well rounded and class acts, too. I’m going to give the edge to Nelson because Maia is 38 yrs old and Nelson is 27 yrs old. Maia has been fighting very well the last year and is on a 3 fight win streak, but Nelson is a young gun on the rise and I think youth will prevail in this fight.

Nelson wins by UD

POST EVENT THOUGHTS:

Well, went 1-3 on my picks, not 0-4. But I did get the Main Event right in predicting that Conor McGregor would win by KO and I’m happy about that. Although, I must admit that KO came a lot faster than anyone would have predicted, including McGregor himself!!

UFC 193 Melbourne: Ronda Rousey vs Holly Holm

I haven’t posted a UFC prediction on this blog in quite a while. That doesn’t reflect a lack of interest in the sport on my part. I still enjoy MMA quite a bit, but for variety I haven’t had as much time to follow the sport the last couple of years. I became a big fan of MMA, and the UFC in particular, about 10 years ago. I was bullish on the growth of sport 10 years ago and I can’t say that I’m very surprised by the success the UFC has enjoyed in recent years, but I am surprised that Ronda Rousey has argueably become the biggest star in all of MMA. I first took note of Ronda several years ago, when she was fighting for StrikeForce, in the days before the UFC even had a Women’s division. I thought her combination of skill, good looks and a colorful personality would enable her to become a star, but I’m sure she has far exceeded the expectations of most, if not all, in the UFC, including Dana White.

Women’s Bantamweight Championship

Champion Ronda Rousey (-1435) 12-0
vs
Challenger Holly Holm (+1135) 9-0

Ronda Rousey is a huge favorite in this fight and the conventional wisdom is that Rousey will again and do so quickly, using her Olympic level Judo skills to bring the fight to the ground, where she will have a great advantage against Holm, who’s forte is boxing. I think there is a great probability that the fight will go exactly that way, but Holm is former boxing champ and is the most skilled boxer that Rousey has ever faced, and she will have a slight height and reach advantage over Rousey. So, if Holm can some how keep the fight standing she may have chance to deliver punches that will KO Rousey before the champ can take her down and take advantage of her superior ground skills.

Does Holm has the take down defense needed to keep this fight standing? We will no doubt find out early in this fight. One of things that makes this fight interesting is the fact that Holm is trained by the Jackson/Winkeljohn Team in Albuquerque and they are among the best, if not the best, trainers in MMA. Has the legendary Greg Jackson devised plan that can defeat the great Ronda Rousey and does Holm have the athletic ability to execute the plan?

Both fighters are smart and play to their strengths. Rousey has no interest in prolonging fights. She usually goes right for the kill and brings it to an end as soon as possible, usually by submitting her opponent by armbar, her signature move. Rousey won her last fight by KO in the first round, delivering a flurry of quick blows that overwhelmed her opponent and dropped her to the canvas in first round. In that fight Rousey wanted to demonstrate that she could win in a fashion other then armbar and she did in impressive fashion. However, I don’t think Rousey will try that approach versus Holm. Again, she doesn’t want to turn this into a boxing match.

Holm also tries to fight in an efficient manner. Earlier this year, after one her UFC fights, I read that Holm said that she was glad that she did not win “Fight of the Night” and the prize money that goes with that award because that would mean she took too much damage. I thought that was an interesting remark and revealed a level of maturity usually not seen in most fighters with a relatively small number of fights under their belt. This fight will only be Holm’s 3rd UFC fight, but she has won 33 out 38 boxing matches, so she is probably the most experienced opponent that Rousey has faced.

If Holm somehow pulls off the upset she will become an overnight Star in the world of MMA. I think she has a better chance of winning than the odds would suggest and she certainly represents the better betting value. However, I’m just not sure that Holm has the athletic ability and agility required to fend off Rousey’s relentless attack.

Prediction: Rousey wins by Submission (Armbar), 2nd Round.

POST FIGHT THOUGHTS:


Well, I can honestly say that am I not shocked that Ronda Rousey was dethroned. Given Ronda’s record it was very hard to pick against her and I did not, but I thought there was a distinct chance that Holm and her team would figure out a way to upset Rousey and that is indeed what happened. Holm’s superior boxing skills did serve her very well and she clearly knows how to throw an effective kick. Greg Jackson & Co. came up with a perfect game plan and Holly executed.

As I mentioned above, I thought Holm offered the better value as a bet. Gosh, if only I was in Vegas for this fight!?! That would have been a nice return on investment!!

UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann – Las Vegas

Woman’s Bantamweight: Ronda Rousey 8-0 (-420) vs. Sara McMann 7-0 (+375)

McMann won a Silver medal as wrestler in the 2004 Olympics and is probably the best athlete that Rousey has been faced with to date. However, McMann’s MMA game is simply not as well rounded as Rousey’s is, especially in view of RR’s improved striking. Ronda would probably like to win this fight in some manner other than securing an arm bar, just to show us all that she can. But Rousey is a very smart fighter and she will take what McMann gives her. If the arm bar is available then Rousey will take it and she won’t fool around because McMann is capable of winning this fight if RR lets her guard down.

Rousey wins by submission, 2nd Rd.

Light Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier 13-0 (-925) vs. Patrick Cummins 4-0 (+725)

This might be the most interesting fight of the evening. Patrick Cummins makes his UFC debut against one of the best fighters in all of MMA. Cummnins was working in a coffee shop in Dana Point, CA two weeks ago. Cormier was scheduled to fight Rashad Evans, but Evans had to withdraw due to knee injury suffered in training. Cummins was offered an opportunity to step in and he leaped at it. Cummins previously served a wrestling training partner for Cormier and claims he got the better of Cormier in training, when Cormier was preparing for the Olympics. Cummins is a very good athlete and earned All- American honors twice as a wrestler at Penn St. He has also won all 4 of his MMA fights in the old Strikeforce promotion.
Cummins may prove to be a capable UFC fighter, but I find it hard to believe he can win this fight with only about 10 days of preparation time. However, anything can happen in MMA and if I had to bet on this fight I would probably want to place a small bet on Cummins simply because of the payoff with Vegas making him the +725 underdog.

Cormier wins by TKO, 3rd Rd.

Welterweight: Rory MacDonald 15-2 (-295) vs. Demian Maia 18-5 (+265)

An important fight for two top ten welterweights coming off losses. The winner will remain in the hunt for a championship fight. Both are well rounded fighters, but MacDonald is 24 and Maia is 36. The loser may not see that opportunity for a long time, if ever. Maia has real shot if he can take this fight to ground and use his world class Jui-Jitsu (former world champion). That will tough task because MacDonald is quick, a great striker and has good take down defense. He is also very experienced for age and has trained for years with fellow Canadian , and UFC icon, Georges St. Pierre. Like GSP, MacDonald is also a very good wrestler, so even if Maia does manage to take MacDonald down he may not find him easy to deal with on the ground, yet that is where Maia would seem to have his best chance.

MacDonald wins by decision

UFC 168: Weidman vs Silva 2 – Las Vegas

What might be the most anticipated rematch in UFC history is finally here as Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman faces off against Anderson Silva, the man he defeated with an absolutely stunning 2nd round knockout to win the UFC MW belt last July. There are several other interesting fights on the card, including Ronda Rousey vs Miesha Tate and Josh Barnett vs Travis Browne.

Middleweight Championship

Champion Chris Weidman (10-0) +155 vs Former Champion Anderson Silva (33-5) -165

Silva is the slight favorite for this fight, but this is fight is essentially a toss up in my view. After going back and forth several times I finally picked Weidman to retain his title, but this fight could easily go either way because both fighters are have diverse MMA skill sets and have demonstrated the ability to end fights via KO or submission. I can’t say that would want to bet much on this fight if I was in Vegas. Both fighters seemed to be calm and confident at the weigh in and at other pre-fight meetings between the two. I’m sure both men think they can and will win this bout. I expect that we will see a more serious and more focused Anderson Silva in this fight and that makes him extremely dangerous. But I think Weidman is at the top of game and in his physical prime at 29. The 38 yr old Spider Silva had not shown any signs of age up until his loss to Weidman. That defeat has made many wonder if Father Time is finally catching up with Silva. That may indeed be the case, but I think Weidman, with top notch wrestling, jiujitsu and his formidable striking would have posed a real threat to Silva at any point in his career.

Weidman wins by submission, 2nd Rd.

Women’s Bantamweight Championship

Champion Ronda Rousey (7-0) -700 vs Meisha Tate (13-4) +510

We have another rematch here. Rousey and Tate fought each other back in March of 2012 when both were fighting in Strikeforce. I remember that fight well. It was non-stop action for nearly a full round, before Ronda was able to secure an arm bar and win in her signature fashion. I’ve got to think that Tate has spent a lot time preparing to defend the arm bar, but will she be able stop the relentless Rousey? Rousey is very well conditioned and her trainers do an excellent job of preparing her. I’m not sure that Rousey deserves to be the massive favorite that she is (-700 is too high for me), but the undefeated champ should definitely be the favorite. However, Tate always shows a lot heart and will come out swinging. I would give Tate a puncher’s chance of winning.

Rousey wins by Submission 2nd Rd.

Heavyweight

Josh Barnett (33-6) -185 vs Travis Browne (15-1) +160

This is a very consequential fight in the Heavyweight division because these to fighters are attempting to position themselves for a title shot a the winner of this fight will probably only need one more victory to get a coveted opportunity to fight for the UFC Heavyweight championship. Barnett is a former UFC HW Champ, but he left the promotion to fight for other organizations way back in 2003 and returned earlier this year. Barnett made short work of UFC HW vet Frank Mir in return fight and now the up and coming Browne stands in his way, Bartnett is 36 and Browne is 31, but it seems like there is a greater difference in age than there is because Barnett has had so many fights. I think this experience gives the 6’4″ Barnett an edge and it will enable him to defeat the 6’7″ Browne, but it won’t be easy. Browne showed great will and resilience in last fight, a victory over the imposing Alistair Overeem.

Barnett wins by TKO, 2nd Rd.


George M. Fattell.

The gmf journal is a general subject blog that reflects my thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics that are of interest to me. Current home base is Easton, Pennsylvania, USA. Retweets do not equal an endorsement.

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