Wednesday, November 18, 2009

UFC 106 Fight Week Preview: Amir Sadollah vs. Phil Baroni

Am I the only one who looks at this picture of Phil Baroni and immediately thinks of a stylized-MMA version of "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff?

While Jason "Mayhem" Miller brings flare to the fight game, he additionally backs it up inside the cage and has a number of quality wins to speak of. Baroni? Not so much.

Pair that with Amir "The UFC Segment Host" Sadollah and you have a very, very unappealing fight that has been promoted to the main card courtesy of a number of injuries and illness and the name recognition of two middle-of-the-pack-at-best fighters.

Can you tell how excited I am?

Amir Sadollah (1-1) vs. "The New York Bad Ass" Phil Baroni (13-11-0)

Remember last week when my predictions for the first two fights on the UFC 105 card were horribly wrong and lacked depth?

Well, the shocking lack of depth returns and we'll see about the results later in the week.

This could certainly be a very exciting fight, as Baroni has seriously heavy hands and Sadollah showed - albeit against one of the worst seasons of TUF competition out there - some skills but standing and with submission.

That being said, the TUF 7 winner lasted just 29 seconds in his official UFC debut against Johny Hendricks at UFC 101 and while he is extremely charismatic, self-deprecating and people seem to like him, none of those things help him in the cage.

As for Baroni, the last fight he won with any relevance whatsoever was quite some time ago depending on your opinions of Yuki Kondo, Ryo Chonan and Ikuhisa Minowa. If those guys don't register with you, we're going all the way back to UFC 39 where Baroni beat the first middleweight champ, Dave Menne.

That was in 2002.

Now, he's lost a boatload of name brand fights since then, dropping bouts to Matt Lindland, Evan Tanner, Kazuo Misaki, and Frank Shamrock, but just like Sadollah's smile doesn't help his cause, the list of guys that have beaten Baroni doesn't change the fact that he's a bare minimum of two years removed from being relevant.

How Jake Rosholt beats Chris Leben on the PPV portion of UFC 101 and gets relegated to the preliminaries when these two come in off losses and get middle of the broadcast coverage is beyond me...

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