Saturday, July 11, 2009

Punch Drunk Predictions: UFC 100

Enough is enough.

For a guy who is looking to make a career out of his knowledge and insights into the world of Mixed Martial Arts, my record in the predictions department is pretty shoddy. Before leaving The Love of Sports to setup Keyboard Kimura two months ago, I was on fire, clicking at nearly 75% with my picks.

Now, I'm two wins above .500, barely breaking even and looking like I'm simply flipping a coin from fight to fight. But that all changes tonight, as UFC 100 will be my coming out party as a prognosticator ... I hope.

Yoshihiro Akiyama (12-1-0, 2 NC) vs. Alan Belcher (13-4)
Normally, as the week leading up to a fight progresses, I continue to scrutinize the fights and waver in my thought process of how a bout will go down. That isn't the case here. I still contend that this is a showcase fight for the UFC's latest Japanese acquisition, a means to further their presence in the Pacific Rim and build another challenger in the Middleweight division.

Not that Belcher doesn't have a chance; he's a quality fighter who has surprised in the past and we all know that anything can happen once the cage door closes. That being said, it's going to take an Akiyama mistake or Belcher catching him with something unexpected for the UFC (and me) not to get the result they're looking for.

Dan Henderson (24-7) vs. Michael Bisping (18-1)
The simple fact of the matter is this: Bisping has never faced anyone remotely as skilled and complete as Dan Henderson. Everything in the history of his career points to him coming out on the losing end of this fight. His one loss is to a wrestler (Rashad Evans) and Matt Hammil, another wrestler, threw him around the cage only to end up on the wrong side of a very bad decision.

So why do I still have those lingering thoughts about Bisping having his hand raised at the end of the fight, with a ticket to a Middleweight title shot at UFC 105 in London ready to be punched?

Hendo has spent more time standing up since returning from Pride, but he's a savvy old vet and I would expect that it will only take a couple stiff jabs to the dome for him to realize that this fight needs to take place on the ground for him to win.

Jon Fitch (22-3-1) vs. Paulo Thiago (11-0)
Not for a minute have I thought anything different than my initial reaction to this fight announcement: Jon Fitch is going to bludgeon this guy.

Thiago was taking shot after shot against Koscheck before landing a serious uppercut and ending the fight, and there is no way that Jon Fitch and his iron jaw are going to be caught out in the same way.

Georges St-Pierre (18-2) vs. Thiago Alves (22-4)
Normally, the anticipation and build-up to a fight gets way to much and I start to lose interest in the fight itself. It's like looking forward to Christmas for the entire month of December only to be over it by Christmas Eve.

Not the case here. No amount of hype can take away from how much I am dying see this fight. Alves is the most unique challenge for GSP to date and I'm a sucker for seeing what kind of gameplan Greg Jackson puts together for his fighters in situations like this.

What makes this even more anticipated for me is that I think it has the possibility to still be a catalyst for bigger and better things for Alves even if he loses. A strong performance in defeat against one of the best in the world is nothing to hang your head about and great fighters always get better after that first big loss.

Brock Lesnar (3-1) vs. Frank Mir (12-3)
Then there is this bad boy! I don't think I've looked forward to a fight as much as I am looking forward to this one ever.

Being that I am a proud supporter of Brock Lesnar, a win here would serve as not only validation of Lesnar's place atop the heavyweight division, but also as proof of my belief that he is the next evolution in the sport.

That being said, Mir can cement his legacy as a great heavyweight with a second win over Lesnar, reaching that upper echelon of fighters everyone believed he was destined for before the motorcycle accident interrupted his career.

Punch Drunk Predictions
Record: 36-34 (I don't want to talk about it...)

Preliminary Card
Shannon Gugerty over Matt Grice (Round 2, Submission)
CB Dolloway over Tom Lawlor (Round 1, Submission)
TJ Grant over Dong Hyun Kim (Split Decision)
Jon Jones over Jake O'Brien (Unanimous Decision)
Jim Miller over Mac Danzig (Round 2, Submission)
Stephan Bonnar over Mark Coleman (Round 2, Submission)

Main Card
Yoshihiro Akiyama over Alan Belcher (Round 1, Submission)
Dan Henderson over Michael Bisping (Unanimous Decision)
Jon Fitch over Paulo Thiago (Round 1, TKO)
Georges St-Pierre over Thiago Alves (Round 4, TKO)

And in the Main Event of the evening...

Brock Lesnar over Frank Mir via TKO due to strikes, Round 1.

Now touch gloves and come out swingin'...


  1. Sorry about the length... my HTML coding skills have failed me this morning and I can't get the "Continue Reading" script to work properly.

    So that I don't throw the computer out the window, I've given up... for now.

  2. Looks like you batted 1000 on this card good buddy.

    I only have one problem with the card tonight, and his name is Brock Lesner. I know you love the man, and there is absolutely no denying that hes a great fighter with a future in the UFC. Hes a monster. I'm reasonably sure he eats children to gain his size and strength.

    But having said that, his attitude is a complete and utter embarassment to the sport. He forgets his place and doesn't quite seem to realize he's not in the entertainment business anymore. "Mir had a horseshoe up his ass, I told him that a year ago, and tonight i took it out and i beat him with it" were his words tonight after beating Mir through KO. He even had the audacity to get up in the mans face and scream at him after the match was over (something i've never seen in any UFC fight, second only to giving the fans the finger as he walked around the ring, saying "i love it, keep it coming").

    Spence, I understnad that the man is a great fighter and that his personality should have no bearing on the sport. But coming from a wrestling background, I can tell you that that is just not true. A big part of MMA, wreslting, and martial arts is respect. It creates an atmosphere of great, clean, and solid competition and is the spirt of the game and the organization. Most fighters praise their beaten opponents and offer a handshake (I refer you to GSP during his fight with Jon Fitch, a literal bow and praise from his knees).

    This spirit of the sport is completely ruined when men like Lesnar start acting like that, and tonight he made an absolute spectacle of himself, the organization, and the respect that goes with it. If people like him continue to make their way into the UFC, I get a feeling that Dana White is quickly going to be selling the UFC franchise to one Vince MacMahon

    - Deuce


Tell us what you think - good, bad or indifferent - and get ready for a counterpunch.