Thursday, November 13, 2008

UFC 91 Predictions: Natural Selection

Lets take a look at the rest of the card before we get to the big fight of the night.

Non-Televised Bouts

Ryan Thomas vs. Matt Brown
I gotta go with Thomas in this fight, he is an up and comer with alot of talent. I think he can control this fight with his wrestling and overall ground game. Brown has a significant advantage standing, but I don't think he can avoid this fight going to the floor.- Thomas by decision.

Alvin Robinson vs. Mark Bocek
Love this fight, it has the potential to be the fight of the night, but I see Robinson as having better overall skills. He should be able to control the stand-up and avoid Bocek's take downs and submission attempts.- Robinson by TKO.

Jorge Gurgel vs. Aaron Riley
We all hear in every Gurgel fight how fantastic his Jiu-Jitsu is, but we rarely ever get to see it. Gurgel is the type of fighter that wants to put on a good show and actually winning the fight takes a back seat. This should be a brawl as both fighters have great chins and like to press the action, but if Gurgel decides to stand with Riley(I think he will) he will be in trouble as Riley has some heavy hands. I just can't pick Gurgel because he's showed many times that he will fight away from his own strengths.- Riley by Decision

Jeremy Stephens vs. Rafael dos Anjos
If Anjos can't get this fight to the mat, he's gettin knocked out. Stephens is a phenomenal striker and I think he gets the stoppage after avoiding some early take down attempts.- Stephens by KO

Televised Card

Dustin Hazelett vs. Tamdan McCrory
Another fight that should be extremely entertaining. Hazelett has the type of potential that could make him a champion one day, but McCrory has that same potential. I think this fight is a toss-up, but ultimately I like Hazelett to pull off another entertaining submission.- Hazelett by Submission

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Josh Hendricks
Hendricks makes his UFC debut and Gonzaga is coming off a win against Justin McCully. I don't know much about Hendricks, but I do know that if he has the cardio to take Gonzaga into the third round he has a chance. Gonzaga has shown suspect cardio in his losses against Couture and Werdum. That being said, I'm still picking Gonzaga to finish this fight early.- Gonzaga by TKO

Demian Maia vs. Nathan Quarry

Maia's Jiu-Jitsu is on another level compared to most fighters in the world, on the other hand his stand-up is sub-par to say the least. Quarry ran a track meet in his last fight with Kalib Starnes, so his cardio should be tremendous! Anyways, I think Quarry stays out of the sub and uses the Dan Henderson vs. Rousimar Palhares strategy.- Quarry by Decision

Kenny Florian vs. Joe Stevenson
Ken-Flo is one of those fighters that gets better every time we see him. The only real advantage I can see for Stevenson in this fight is maybe he's a little better wrestler than Florian. Other than that I see Florian dominating this fight from start to finish with superior striking and even better Jiu-Jitsu than the recently anointed black belt, Stevenson. edit.- Florian by TKO

Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar
I hear many, many people talking about how great an athlete Brock Lesnar is. I'm sorry, but I disagree strongly with anyone that anoints Lesnar as a "great athlete". He has done nothing to earn a title like that. If you watched "UFC 91 Countdown" you no doubt saw the story about Lesnar's quest to play for the Minnesota Vikings. In the piece his trainers say that he had better numbers in the 40 and bench(not a suprise) than Houston Texans' number one overall choice Mario Williams. His trainers also go on to say that he has the talent to play in the NFL, even though the Vikings cut him. Forgive me for being highly skeptical of that whole situation and I don't know the whole story, but if he truly had the talent to play in the NFL that's where he would be(its not like the NFL is picky about who they let in.) and to insinuate that he is as good an athlete as Mario Williams is, is absolutely ridiculous.

He moves fast for a big man and he's a great wrestler and that gives him a chance in this fight, but I just have a problem with calling the guy a great athlete. When you think of a great athlete in terms of an MMA fighter, among other things, you have to think of overall skill set, heart, chin and endurance. Three things that we have no idea of when it comes to Brock Lesnar. You know who is a great athlete? Randy Couture.

Couture has been the underdog many times and he has risen to the occasion to prove all the critics wrong in the past. I think he pulls it off again here against an inexperienced fighter. Couture will pull out all the old MMA tricks to consistently frustrate the big man. I think dirty boxing will be a huge factor in this fight for Couture in the stand-up. Of course in the highly likely scenario that Couture does end up on his back, I suspect he has a few suprises for Brock either scrambling or submission attempts. I'm picking Couture to end this fight late in the third round after Lesnar realizes that he is outgunned in skill set and fighting intelligence.- Couture by TKO Late in the Third Round.


Anonymous said...

I feel that Couture has an extensive MMA pedigree and that puts him in the driver seat over Lesner. But your explanation for Lesner not being an athlete or a complete athlete is weak.

To put it simply, yes, he is an athlete.

I won't list his achievements but they're readily available online.

How'd you miss out on this one?

Anonymous said...

For you to insinuate that Brock is not a great athlete proves to me that you have never competed athletically. Brock was the last man cut from the vikings and before trying out he had never, ever played organized football before and the vikings deemed him to raw but his freakish athletic talent almost landed him in the nfl with no experience. And I guess beating Heath Herring who at one point in Pride was considered the top HW contender in the world with virtually no experience proves hes not a great athlete. Oh and that NCAA title that Couture never won and Brock did again proves Lesnar, who was not recruited out of High School is again not a great athlete. At least back up your rambling thoughts with research and comprehensible points when you make statements about people. Besides people in the MMA world who (cough cough) know more than you think hes a great athlete so I am gonna go out on a limb and say, Wrong!

Jimmy said...

Under your definition of "great athlete" there must not be many. Just cuz the guy didnt make a pro football team doesn't mean he is any less a bad ass athlete. I saw how fast he moved around in taht octagon and a man that size that moves that fast is a great athlete in my book.
Loved all your predictions and love your site btw-

I train athletes said...

Lesnar won the 2000 NCAA wrestling championship as a heavyweight after placing second in 1999.

Not an elite athlete LMAO!
You Know Nothing

Anonymous said...

I have to agree about Lesnar not being a "great athlete". Yes he has won NCAA championships, but in the wrestling sense, the top of the heap is the Olympics. Professional athletes are great, if you have a great college career, but can't hang with the pros(Ryan Leaf, here's lookin at you) then the greatness you had in college is forgotten. Great athletes are the ones who beat the best in the world at the top level of their particular sport.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that says Lesnar is not a great athelete is fucking retarded. Randy has always struggled against larger (well conditioned) grapplers. This will be no different.

mcj said...

I understand several of the criticisms above--that maybe Brock is actually natural athlete with fighting capacity--but more to the point: I don't agree that Brock will win. I support a Natural Selection.

Couture has certain evidence of greatness. His ability to study tapes, develop specific strategy and then execute it as a gameplan on fight night is extraordinary. Although tapes are few, Brock's tendencies are unlikely to change and will be exploited by Couture for another victory.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster, just because you won a college wrestling championship does not make you a great athlete. And laying on Heath Herring for 3 rounds doesn't either. GSP, Couture, Fedor are great athletes, as for Lesnar I think the jury is still out.

TaskMaster said...

Kenny "I finish fights" florian... is criticized for not finishing fights... wth.

Anonymous said...

a lot of lesnar nuthuggers getting their undies in a bunch. "he is a great athlete wah..."

does your definition of great athlete include steroid using? if that dudes not on roids then i don't know who is...

i think couture ends it in the late second round: too much guile and experience...

Anonymous said...

LMAO @ Lesnar not being a great athlete. Lemme tell you his story. Despite never picking up a football since throwing catch with buddies, the man was the last man cut on the Minnesota Vikings and was actually offered an NFL Europe contract. He had a 475lb bench press, 695lb squat, 4.7 second forty-yard dash, 10 foot standing broad jump, and a 35 inch vertical leap. All while weighing in at a staggering 290lbs.

Those stats were better than Mario Williams'. He ran the 40 faster than Emmitt Smith. Oh, did I mention that he was involved in a motorcycle accident 2 months before camp and damn near TORE his groin. He had all those stats with a fucked up groin. Regardless of if he will lose to Couture or not, the fact that you said this throws all your credibility out the window. Google is your friend.

Anonymous said...

Wow people are getting stressy over this. I think Brock is an incredible athlete. By "athlete" I'm talking in terms of great speed, agility and strength. People are saying he's not a great athlete in terms of not having his chin tested and the mental power to execute game plans etc etc. I mean watching Brock lie on top of Heath for 3 rounds made me want to zzzzzzzz. However if Brock can pick up any of these skills... he's gonna be a fucking beast. That is until he fights Fedor and has to go crying back to his plastic wife.

Anonymous said...

brock is a "great athlete"...he has tools for a for heavy weight that not many heavy weights have...strength, quickness, explosiveness, and speed...but...athlete has nothing to do with experience, knowledge, technique, and game plan...bernard hopkins is not the fastest, or strongest boxer, but he is smart from hi many experiences in the ring to come out on top...something to think about...

Anonymous said...

Being a great athelete and a great fighter are two different things. Right now, Couture is not an athelete. As much as his students may say he outworks them the simple truth is Couture is old and can not compete with Lesnar on the same level. He now has to work out using low impact as possible is proof this body can not hold out at this current level required to be an A gamer. That being said, Lesnar can not compete upto Randy's level of boxing. Lesnar's strength is his only helping factor. He rocked Mir and Hearing with his speed. The fact that you put having a great chin makes a good athlete is stupid. Couture got knocked out twice by Liddell if I recall.

Anonymous said...

So many armchair quarterbacks on this site who think they know what an athlete is. I wrestled for years and you have to be a freak to compete at the level he did. And there is no professional wrestling league so the Ryan Leaf comparison is just stupid. And if you've seen pictures or video if him in college, he looks exactly the same, not to mention hes already passed a pre-fight drug test. But then again 60% of us adults in America are overweight and just blatantly assume anyone that isn't an overfed fat shit is either on steroids or anorexic. I'm a personal trainer and I think hes a tremendous athlete and so do his peers in MMA more importantly so it really does matter what joe "diabetes" six pack thinks since he can't even see over his gut to watch the fight if hes laying down.

Anonymous said...

Lesner is very new to mma, If he beats a seasoned vet like couture will all your opinions change?

Lesnar is a great athlete, experience might be the only thing going against him tomorrow, but experience doesnt always win you the fight.

Anonymous said...

i love your website but have to disagree with you on the lesnar argument. he is an athlete. like others have stated, he has wrestling titles from college and just because he has failed in the nfl doesn't mean he is not an athlete. he may not be a well-rounded mixed martial artist, but it doesn't mean he's not an athlete.

and as for your prediction, i think lesnar has more of a chance than you give him.

--standing, he has heavy hands and quick on his feet. we haven't seen much of technical boxing from him, but it doesn't give me a reason to count him out. he has knock out power... and if couture is tagged, i say he's out. but then again couture could use his experience to avoid a knock out loss.

--as for the ground, lesnar's speed in takedowns and weight advantage will help him. in my mind, couture is going to have a really, really hard time trying to get back on his feet if lesnar takes him down. lesnar is explosive and has good control on top. although couture is an accomplished wrestler, i think lesnar has the edge wrestling wise. but again, randy does have a chance. like in the mir fight, couture might catch lesnar in a submission.

although i'd like randy to win, i feel this match is lesnar's to lose. he's quicker, his strikes are stronger, and his weight advantage is going to help him a lot on the ground. so unless randy can avoid being knocked out standing or being controlled on the ground and catch a submission, i see randy losing this fight. so in my opinion i see lesnar taking this fight to the ground and winning by tko.

lesnar by tko. (possibly in the second round)

p.s. does anyone feel that this fight is a punishment for randy for speaking out against the ufc? i mean, i don't feel that anyone deserves a title shot coming off of one win and just losing before that and with just three fights. i think that couture's first fight back should be against a more deserving opponent. losing to a guy with only three fights under his belt would be embarassing. how bad would that look if he lost to a guy with only a 2-1 record with barely any experience in the mma game?

Anonymous said...

So you think because he didn't make the Vikings PROFESSIONAL football team (with virtually no significant experience) that he's not a great athlete? That's ridiculous. I guess NCAA wrestling champs aren't good athletes. Who knew? Horrendous commentary for that particular fight. Just say you don't like the guy and he's going to get his ass beat.

Anonymous said...

are you an idiot bro... "Randy Couture is NOT an athete"??? Are you out of your mind. the guy is 45 FORTY FIVE years old and has completely owned his last two oponents. they didnt hand him the UFC title he slapped areound tim to get it then destroyed Gonzaga to keep it. HE'S FORTY FIVE!!! Id like to see you at 45, Dumbs**t!!! (lesnar is an animal =)

Anonymous said...

After reading all the comments, i have come up with one thing:

if Lesnar wins the Heavyweight title with such an inexperienced record, it will prove how superficial and unlegitimate the UFC really is. Am i not right?

Mike Tyson didnt get a shot at the title until he fought at least 18 times!!!!!

maybe this IS Dana's way of saying F!@# you RANDY and seeya later...

lets be realistic here. as much as i and the rest of the world would love the giant killer to win (crossing fingers), there comes a time when the human body cannot sustain the kind of work required to compete against someone as aggressive as Lesnar and i feel that Lesnar will TKO Randy in round 1

...sorry Randy

toby said...

Richard you should have known this was a horrible match up for Randy,(almost on par with Silva/Hendo) We all know it is nearly impossible to pick against Randy because he always finds a way to pull it about. But to think he land the TKO is kinda Crazy. I thought Brock would prolly pull a descion due to his Size as we all know when it comes down to wrestling size matters. But my thought was Randy's only chance was to pull a sub out of his ass while in guard.

Hows life treating you Bro ?

The Vikings and many experts had said if Brock would have had any Football expierence he could of made the team but to play DE you gotta have good technique and thats not something you can teach in one training camp

The Sawks

Plopculture - an inside look into the inside said...

jorge gurgel released from UFC and signs immediately with Strikeforce

Anonymous said...

This is late. Awww but I don't care about that. Bottom line. Brock is an athlete. I understand that you're saying not in the MMA sense which I completely agree with. But that's not good enough to say he is not an athlete. Then neither are Jordan and Federer too. Just coz they dont compete in MMA doesnt not make them athletes. This is the fist visit to this site and already you've lost a lot of credibility. Sure, say that he doesnt deserve a shot at the title. And say that he doesnt have MMA skills. That can be argued atleast. But to deny that he isnt just makes you look stupid. I mean how many giuys do you know that beat Heath Herring in their 2nd fight, Couture in their 3rd and make their loss look good(against Mir where he hammered him only to lose out on a rookie mistake). Coz I dont know too many people who would have done that WITHOUT submission skills, striking skills and average boxing skills.

its funny. Had Mir lost to him, people still wouldn't have given Lesnar credit. They would've said that Mir was out of shape and had lost his last couple of fights so it doesnt count. But if you are saying a non athletic person beat herring and couture. Then thats not saying much for the UFC fighters, is it?