Phil Baroni vs. Amir Sadollah
(170 lbs/77 kg)
-Terrible ground game
-Very little cardio
+Good Muay Thai
+Slick ground game
-May not have recovered from surgery
-Sub par wrestling
As surprising as I found Sadollah's KO loss to Hendricks, he still has to be considered tremendous favorite over Baroni, who will gas after the first round and who has suffered numerous KO losses to fighters of various quality. Everything Baroni can do, Sadollah can do better, I think.
Sadollah's surgery may haunt him, but I wouldn't expect him to still be suffering.
I'd say Baroni's best chance is just a lucky punch, really.
Sadollah, submission, Round 1.
Sadollah is at 1.45 and Baroni is at 2.80, but I can't justify putting cash on Baroni.
Luiz Cané vs. Antonio Rogério Nogueira
(205 lbs/93 kg)
+Great muay thai and boxing combos
+Very durable and can take punishment
+Black belt Jiu Jitsu
-Unused submission game
-May fade in later rounds
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
+Elite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt
+High class boxer, having achieved several titles
-No kicks or knees in his arsenal
-Not the best wrestler
Nogueira is a great technical boxer who won gold in the South American Games in 2006 and bronze at the Pan American games of 2007. Cain wouldn't have the smae titles to his name, but he is still a very dangerous boxer/Thai boxer combination.
Both have solid jaws, so I would expect it to go for a while, and they both have cardio that will take them to Round 3, but Nogueira may have a slight advantage there.
Honestly, it's very difficult to call, as their skills stack up very close to each other.
As already said, tough to call, but I'll choose Cané by Split Decision.
Nogueira is at 1.69 and Cané at 2.15. I'd advise money on Cané here.
Josh Koscheck vs. Anthony Johnson
(170 lbs/77 kg)
+Significant KO power
+Strength, size and athleticism
-Striking could be refined
+Great wrestler, former NCAA Division I champion
+Great power behind strikes
+Very good ground and pound
+Great sub defense—brown belt Jiu Jitsu
-"Wrestler striking," powerful but combos are basic
People have been complaining about Koscheck wanting to stand and abandoning his wrestling roots. That's just stupid; Koscheck never abandoned his wrestling roots.
Yoshiyuki Yoshida was more dangerous on the ground than standing, same with Frank Trigg, and you can't blame him for assuming the same about Paulo Thiago, who was reknowned as a submission magician and not a good striker. Let's take a moment to recall his violent ground and pound over Lytle.
I do not see Johnson's strength and athleticism being a match for Koscheck's wrestling credentials. I think if he ends up on his back he'll be in trouble and will at least end up losing the round.
If it does stay standing, I'd give Johnson the edge, but not by as wide a margin as people might think.
Koscheck by TKO, Round 2, reasserting himself in the welterweight title chase.
Both are at 1.87, so I'll choose Koscheck.
Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz
(205 lbs/93 kg)
+Good technical kickboxing
+Good ground game
+Considerable size and reach
-Feather fists, very little power
-Not much wrestling
-Suffering two defeats prior to the fight
+Good ground and pound
-Rarely uses submissions aggressively
-Returning after surgery
Ortiz had a close decision win against Griffin last time around, but it was an extremely close call. Tito used his wrestling and ground and pound to win, losing the striking portion of the fight. I wouldn't expect a repeat of that—Griffin isn't the same brawler he was, and Tito just isn't in his prime.
Griffin is a more well rounded striker and has developed a very good ground game should he be taken down. The one issue is how badly his mental shape is after losing to Evans and Silva.
Tito's back surgery will put in jeopardy the cardio that is so often his advantage. It will also damage his entire game, and make his takedowns
Griffin by TKO Round 2, reminding everyone that he is still a good light heavyweight.
Surprisingly, both enter at 1.87, so I'd take Griffin and Sadollah together.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Antonio Silva vs Fabricio Werdum
(265 lbs/120 kg)
Antonio Silva 13-1-0
+Good striker, and surprising light on his feet for such a large man+Decent ground game+Good size advantage (6′5″, 265 lbs)
-Not a good wrestler-Can be inaggressive at times-Not a one hit KO artist
+Highly decorated Jiu Jitsu black belt and has won gold in ADCC+Judo knowledge
-Sub par wrestler-Very average striker-Not the best ground and pound
Werdum will pose a severe danger to Silva if he gets it to the ground, but Werdum is not a strong wrestler and does not have explosive shot
s, and he has had trouble putting people on the mat, thinking particularly the Arlovski fight.
Silva isn’t the most aggressive fighter on the planet, but he may find that an advantage, as he can stay outside of Werdum’s range, and pick him apart using his reach.
Despite his impressive TKO percentage, I would be surprised if Silva KO’d Werdum.
Leaning towards Silva by unanimous decision. Werdum is favorite at 1.65, while Silva is at 2.25, so of course I’ll choose Silva.
Jake Shields vs. Jason Miller
(185 lbs/84 kg)
Jake Shields 23-4-1
+Great wrestler+Excellent grappler, Jiu Jitsu black belt+Good cardio
-Not a good striker-Ground and pound could be better
Jason Miller 22-6-0-1
+Good grappler+Almost unsubmittable+Decent striker+Good cardio
-Questionable wrestling-Not a KO artist
Shields will very likely outwrestle Miller and keep him on the mat, but when Jacaré couldn’t submit Mayhem, it’s hard to see anyone doing so. Nonetheless, Shields is a very prolific wrestler, moreso than Jacaré, so he will definitely be pleased with how long Miller was kept on the ground in that fight.
Miller may have an advantage standing, but looking at Miller’s low KO rates it’s hard to see him putting Shields away before the shot.
Shields by unanimous decision, a pretty boring fight, I’d guess. Shields is at 1.34, while Miller is at 3.35, but I’ll bet on Shields.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
(205 lbs/93 kg)
+High quality boxer/kickboxer—former Dutch amateur boxing champ+Very good ground game with a dangerous guard+Very good ground and pound+Very good training partners+Highly strategic
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou 7-4-0
+Good kickboxer+Explosive KO power+Judo background+Strength and athleticism
-Bad cardio-Poor heart-No submissions and never looked good grappling
Thierry has an advantage in sheer power and perhaps a little strength and athleticism, but has severe cardio issues and a poor ground game, while the Armenian has no real weaknesses. I would also say that Mousasi has better striking and of course he has a better ground game.
Sokoudjou could always blast him in the opening bell, but I can’t really see Mousasi falling in that manner, and will likely be patient in looking for openings and exploit Sokoudjou’s cardio, which will probably be worse considering he has fighting at openweight for his last two bouts.
Mousasi by TKO, Round 2. Mousasi is at 1.20 while Sokoudjou is at 4.00, so as sure as Mousasi is to win, I’d rather place something on the African.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers
(265 lbs/ 120 kg)
+Extreme KO power, with all of his victories by way of KO, TKO, or submission (strikes)+Size advantage, at 6′5″ and 265 lbs+Mentally in good shape
-Brawler, with just hooks
-No proven ground game-No proven wrestling background-Uncertain cardio
+World class upper body clinchwork—a three time World Combat Sambo champion as well as a national Judo champion
+Explosively powerful striking that sets up clinch well
+Transitions between striking and grappling are perfect
+Very good head movement
+Durable and can take punishment
+Excellent submission skills
-First fight in a cage
-Hasn’t really used Muay Thai since traing with Golden Glory in 2005
Does Rogers do any one thing better than Fedor? I can’t say so.
Rogers has bombs for fists but Fedor has no shortage in that regard either.
Furthermore, Fedor has defeated strikers like Semmy Schilt, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski and Gary Goodridge. Rogers has a win over Arlovski.
Truly, I wouldn’t view Rogers as anything other than a poor man’s version of 2006 Mark Hunt, who had a diamond jaw, an awesome punch and professional kickboxing skills, and a body type that made him difficult to take to the ground.
Fedor has to win on paper. Without a flash KO from a wild haymaker, Rogers’s chances are slim. Fedor by KO, Round 1. Fedor is at 1.17, while Rogers at 5.00. I’m trying Fedor and Shields.