Saturday, August 8, 2009

Punch Drunk Predictions: UFC 101

All the hype and build-up is done.

The fighters have done their preparations, as have the scribes, breaking down all the fights and examining every angle imaginable to try and come up with the best picks possible.

UFC 100 was a rebound event for me, delivering an 8-3 record while going a perfect 5-for-5 on the televised card to bring me a little closer to respectability.

Time to build off that success and keep the ball rolling...

Josh Neer (25-7-1) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (13-4-0)

While Pellegrino has the better ground game, Neer is the more complete fighter and he's actually earned more wins via submission than his black belt counterpart.

"Batman" is sure to be a tough test, as he's a solid all-around veteran who can give anyone fits. Asks Joe Stevenson and Nathan Diaz. But Neer is a talented kid who needs to show that his head is on straight and a chance to move up the ladder in the lightweight division is what he's after.

Kendall Grove (12-5-0, 1 NC) vs. Ricardo Almeida (10-3-0)

Almeida has the BJJ pedigree to make this an interesting test between a striker and a grappler, but he also has a penchant for emptying the gas tank somewhere near the middle of the second round.

Grove, once on the verge of getting the pink slip from the organization, can make it three-in-a-row with a win and should use his length to keep Almeida from getting inside and trying to bring this fight to the ground.

Amir Sadollah (1-0-0) vs. Johny Hendricks (5-0-0)

There really is no good way to predict this fight. On paper, Hendricks is the winner simply because he has spent more time inside the cage under the bright lights than his opponent.

Then again, his opponent thrived with the camera on his 24/7 in winning TUF 7 before becoming, as my man Zak Woods from Watch Kalib Run described him to me earlier, a sickly leper who has been out of the ring for over a year.

Training gets the nod from me in this one, and the boys at Xtreme Couture will ensure the UFC's next goofy and likeable TUF winner is ready to go.

Anderson Silva (24-4-0) vs. Forrest Griffin (16-5-0)

After weeks of going back-and-forth over this fight in my mind and on WKR podcasts with Zak, I've come to one conclusion:

Anderson Silva is not going to lose this fight.

I love Forrest and think there are ways he can claim a victory over the Middleweight champ, but there are just too many things that Silva does freakishly well for Griffin to game plan against.

And for the record, I fully expect to see "The Old Anderson Silva" this time around.

BJ Penn (13-5-1) vs. Kenny Florian (13-3)

I'm rooting for Kenny, but the objective, professional side of me that wants to exhibit my journalistic integrity knows this might be a long night for my man from Massachusetts.

Penn made weight and looked in good shape from various accounts, and that could be all the indication anyone needs. After all, it has been seven years since he lost a fight at 155.

That's not to say an upset can't happen, I just don't think it will.

Punch Drunk Predictions
Record: 44-37 (Getting better...)

Preliminary Card
Danillo Villefort over Jesse Lennox (Submission, R1)
George Sotiropolous over George Roop (Unanimous Decision)
Matt Riddle over Dan Cramer (Unanimous Decision)
Thales Leites over Alessio Sakara (Submission, R2)
Tamdan McCrory over John Howard (Split Decision)
Aaron Riley over Shane Nelson (TKO, R1)

Main Card
Josh Neer over Kurt Pellegrino (Unanimous Decision)
Kendall Grove over Ricardo Almeida (TKO, R3)
Amir Sadollah over Johny Hendricks (Submission, R2)
Anderson Silva over Forrest Griffin (TKO, R2)

And in the Main Event of the evening...

BJ Penn over Kenny Florian via Unanimous Decision to remain UFC Lightweight Champion.

Now touch gloves and come out swingin'...


  1. 3-2 ain't bad buddy. Although I have to say that I am disgusted with 2 of the fights this evening.

    The first was Sadollah vs.Hendricks....The call on this fight was ridiculous. Sure the guy was on hands and feet, but Hendricks took about 6 swings and missed at least 4 of them when the ref gave the match to Hendricks with TKO.

    This was a serious scar on Sadollah's record because of a bad call, in this case I believe the judges need to have a call in continuing the match. The replay show no obvious stunning of Amir Sadollah during these 'strikes' and it looked to me like he was going for a leg during the end of it (this point is certainly up for debate as it is attributed to my memory only at this point in time).

    The second fight that showed incredible disappointment was the bout between Silva and Griffin. Silva made very, very short work on Griffin and I, personally, am okay with that, though I thought Silva's attitude during the match was less than professional. The taunts, and the 'come get me, you can't touch me' attitude was a but much in my opinion. But don't get me wrong. I'm not excusing the behaviour of Forest Griffin in this case either. Running out of the stadium because you were beaten is a move I could see Brock Lesnar making, but not Griffin. It was pretty low, Griffin was systematically torn apart. On the other hand, Griffin may have walked into this match pretty cocky. A man who walks around at a solid 220-230 pounds and has to cut weight to make it to 205 probably thought someone who is struggling to make it to 205, like Anderson Silva, will be easy pickings. Perhaps it was an underestimation on his part, but it doesn't excuse his behaviour.

    Personally, and Spence I'd love to see your comment on this, but I think one of the few interesting fights left in the UFC is for GSP to move up to 185 and take on our man Anderson Silva. This would certianly provide a solid argument to who the best kilo for kilo (or pound for pound for all you yanks out there) fighter in the UFC is. I'd love to see it myself.

    Can't wait to see your take on UFC 102. Going to be an interesting card.

  2. of course. the 3-2 i'm referring to refers to the 'main card'. My apologies for not clarifying.


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