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Fightin' Words: The Year UFC Would Like To Forget, Reviews, Previews, and More

By Kevin Wallace Nov 28, 2012 - 10:47 AM print


What's up everyone?   It's with great pleasure that I bring to you a new format to Fightin Words with a couple of new categories that I hope will leave you returning for more.   Enjoy!  

 

 

Review of Fuel TV 6: Macau

 

A few weeks ago the UFC held its first event in China for a Fuel show and despite the fact that this wasn't a big UFC numbered show; it was a rather top heavy card with a few big names and a couple solid fights.   Let's take a look at what went down in Macau.

 

Cung Le (9-2) knocked out Rich "Ace" Franklin (29-7-1) at 2:17 of the first round- Lots of questions were answered in Macau in regards to Le who came into this fight off a win against Patrick Cote and having just come off filming a movie and a messed up ankle, a lot of betters though Franklin would walk right through him only to be proven wrong when a brutal right hook put Franklin out.   Franklin took the middle of the cage early and landed a couple leg kicks but before he was able to test Le's ground game, Le caught him coming in with a perfectly placed right hook that knocked out Franklin as soon as it hit and sent the former UFC middleweight champion nose diving to the mat in a knockout that could probably be compared to Rahsad Evans' over Chuck Liddell or Gabriel Gonzaga's of Cro Cop in terms of sheer brutality.   At 38 years old, most people in Le's shoes are slowing down and looking to close out their career with easy fights but Le has now won two fights in a row over credible middleweights and he finds himself in the top ten with the victory and grouped in with other top middleweights like Alan Belcher, Michael Bisping, Chris Wediman and Tim Boetsch.   If Le is going to continue to take fights with strikers than a fight with a Chris Leben or Alan Belcher would make a lot of sense and would please fans of knockouts or stand-up exchanges.   It's tough to say what's next for Franklin as he has the ability to bounce between both middleweight and light heavyweight but knockouts like this are scary and very seldom does a guy return from a knockout such as this one.   Le was granted an additional $40 000 for knockout of the night here and is most likely a favourite for knockout of the year when 2012 is all said and done.

 

Thiago Silva (15-3-1) submitted Stanislav Nedkov (12-1) to an arm triangle at 1:45 of the third round-   This was a way more competetive fight than I had expected as Nedkov was able to push the pace and be the aggressor in the first two rounds when he clipped Silva on a couple of occasions and kept the Brazilian against the fence.   When the third round began it looked early on like it was going to play out much like the first and second but Nedkov had what could only be described as a flake out moment and began casually walking to his corner for some reason and Silva took advantage of Nedkov and secured a takedown and eventually an arm triangle which Nedkov did little to defend until he tapped out and gave a win to someone he was beating convincingly.   I'm really not too sure of what to make of this fight but following this one, it seems like the Silva of old is not nearly as dominant as he once was and he should think twice before challenging top five fighters until he works his way back into contention.   Nedkov will need to go back to his drawing board and figure out a gameplan as to how to conserve his energy in future fights and figure out why the heck he made such a dumb mistake.   The fight proved that Nedkov is a legit threat at 205 lbs but he's going to need to tighten up his game before he faces a guy like Silva again who, given his limiatations, is still a beast with a killer instinct and capable of finishing any opponent no matter how much time is left in the fight if given an opportunity.

 

Dong Hyun Kim (16-2-1) defeated Paulo Thiago (14-5) by unanimous decision-  Well this was a far more one sided fight than I could have expected as Kim smothered Thiago against the cage for 15 minutes to pick up a dominant victory.   Not the flashiest of fights but a hard earned victory for Kim over a very game Kim.   Following the fight, Kim expressed interest in a rematch with Demian Maia who took advantage of a muscle spasm suffered by Kim to defeat him earlier this year.   Due to Maia having destroyed Rick Story so briefly less than two months ago, I would think that Kim may need another win or two before the UFC grants him that wish.

 

Takanori "The Fireball Kid" Gomi (34-8-1) defeated Mac Danzig (21-10-1) by split decision-   Decent little fight here but mirred in a little bit of controversy as arguably Danzig won two of three rounds and probably should have been awarded the victory.   The expression, "don't leave it in the hands of the judges" has never been truer as it has this year and this fight was no exception.   Danzig was able to use his movement to attack Gomi from the outside in the first two rounds but in the third, a usually gassing Gomi struck back and brought the fight to Danzig, mixing in a takedown as well as landing the better punches.   As is often the case in close fights like this, the verdict was close enough that an argument could be made for either guy to get the win but in this case I think the judges were off their game.   Both men picked up an additional $40 000 for fight of the night.

 

Jon "Super Saiyan" Tuck (7-0) defeated Tie Quan "The Mongolian Wolf" Zhang (15-4) by unanimous decision-   Fun little fight here as Tuck was able to steal the first two rounds with his superior striking and ground game only for Zhang to mount a comeback in the third round and take advantage of a gassing Tuck to beat him up on the feet.   Unfortunatley the late momentum swing for Zhang didn't come soon enough as Tuck was given the decision on all of the judge’s scorecards via scores of 29-28 across the board.   This probably should have been given the fight of the night honours and Zhang may have kept his job for his spirited effort.

 

Takeya Mizugaki (16-7-2) defeated Jeff "Hellbound" Hougland (10-6) by unanimous decision-   This was a pretty slow fight with Mizugaki repeatedly getting the takedowns on Houghland and Houghland looking for submission attempts from his back.   Mizugaki pounded away on Houghland repeatedly while in his gaurd for the majority of this one but was still faced with a couple tricky situations including a strange looking arm triangle from Houghland's gaurd.   The win for Mizugaki should keep him hovering around that number ten spot at bantamweight and stay employed with Zuffa while the same may not be the case for Houghland whose now lost two in a row in pretty one sided fights.

 

Prelims

Alex "Bruce Leroy" Cacares (8-5) defeated Motonobu Tezuka (19-5-4) by split decision

John "Hands of Stone" Lineker (19-6) defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-6) by unanimous decision

Riki Fukuda (19-6) defeated Tom DeBlass (7-2) by unanimous decision

 

 

The Winners and Losers of UFC 154: St. Pierre vs Condit     

 

  I thought I'd try something new for the big UFC "numbered shows" from here on out instead of the regular breakdowns I tend to give and will continue to do with the smaller shows such as UFC on Fuel TV 6: Macau as shown in this column.

 

The Winners

 

The UFC Welterweight Division-   UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre hadn't competed in the octagon since April of 2011 before meeting Carlos Condit in the cage at UFC 154 and since that time the division has changed quite a bit.   Carlos Condit was crowned the UFC interim welterweight champion following a victory over Nick Diaz, Johnny Hendricks has emerged as a legitimate number one contender and a bunch of other young stars have been making waves in the division such as Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger and for GSP, the current UFC welterweighht champion, he has several new tests if he plans on continuing his dominance.   The welterweight division has always been one of the most competetive and entertaining in the UFC and now that we have an undisputed champion again and a scene of guys all looking to vye for a title shot, I expect big things from the welterweights in 2013, especially if the dream match of Anderson Silva and GSP doesn't happen as GSP will most likely look to fight two or three times next year since he hasn't been too active in the last 19 months due to his torn ACL.   GSP, Carlos Condit, Johnny Hendricks, Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald, Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger should make 2013 the year of the welterweights.

 

Georges St. Pierre-  A lot of questions in regards to GSP were answered at UFC 154 when he survived a close third round scare and retained his championship following his defeat of Carlos Condit.   With a torn ACL and having missed almostt two years, GSP showed very little ring rust and looked like the GSP of old, taking down Condit at will and cutting open his opponent with punches early.   The one knock on GSP is that he's been unable to finish opponents for a few years now however this fight was still very entertaining even thouigh it was 25 minutes long and Condit isn't exactly an easy opponent to finish.   Condit was able to drop GSP with a beautiful head kick in the third round but GSP showed the heart of a champion by finishing the round strong and dominating Condit following the knock down.   This fight was no cake walk for the Canadian but he did look good following the time off.   The future for GSP is still up in the air here but all signs point to a fight with Johnny Hendricks, Nick Diaz or the long awaited dream match with Anderson Silva in his next fight.

 

Johnny Hendricks-   Having defeated both Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck, Hendricks was looking to add a third top five fighter to his list of victims and he did just that when he knocked out Martin Kampmann in the opening stages of the UFC 154 co-main event.   Johnny Hendricks has a good look with his grizzled beard and his skill set of solid wrestling and brutal power in his left hand and I believe after this performance, he's ready to contend for GSP's welterweight championship and perhaps even upset the champion.   The UFC has been hoping for a couple years now that some new stars would emerge in their welterweight division and Johnny Hendricks has done just that not to mention this being his second knockout in three fights, both in under one minute.   Hendricks has now put together a good amount of highlight reel material and a fight with GSP probably wouldn't be all that hard of a sell considering even Jake Shields and Dan Herdy have been given shots even though neither had the body of work and victims that Hendricks had.   I would almost expect Hendricks to challenge GSP in the summer of 2013 if Anderson Silva and GSP doesn't end up happening and if that's the case we may see a new UFC welterwight champion next year.

 

Carlos Condit-   Eventhough he didn't win his match with GSP, Carlos Condit did something that GSP's last few opponents didn't, he actually made GSP fight and not just wrestle and looking at both guys faces after the fight, there was no disputing that GSP had his fair share of bruises when this one was all said and done.   Condit has problems defending GSP's takedown's but instead of just laying there waiting for a stand-up, Condit threw lots of punches and elbows and even caused a couple scrambles, forcing the champion to be on gaurd the entire fight.   In the third round Condit floored GSP with a head kick and chased him to the floor where he landed several punches and eventhough the champion recovered, it was the closest GSP has come to losing since 2006 and Condit proved that he belongs fighting the top five welterweights whether or not he won his fight with GSP.   I'd expect Condit to stay in the mix at 170 for the next few years at least.

 

Raphael Dos Anjos-  On a two fight win streak, RDA came into this fight as a slight underdog given Bocek's record and having looked good even in losses to high level champions or contenders but when all was said and done it was Dos Anjos who walked away the winner after 15 minutes.   Dos Anjos' stand-up game, takedowns and overall aggressiveness led to Bocek being on his heels all night and earning the favor of the judges.   RDA has now entered himself in or around the top ten at lightweight with the win and should face another quality contender in his next fight.

 

Pablo Garza-   Garza had a tough test against him in Montreal when he took on one of Canada's toughest and most popular fighters but when all was said and done, the lanky featherweight survived a first round to come back and win the next two and keep his job in the process.   Garza's ability to use his reach to nullify Mark's striking is something that should present a unique challenge to any other featherweights in the stacked division.

 

Patrick Cote-   Although his "victory" may have been a little tainted due to winning by means of disqualification when Sakara landed several unanswered shots, Cote came out swinging for the fences and looking for a fast knockout, a style he hasn't used too much as of late.   Eventually Cote was hurt with an elbow from Sakara which lead to him covering his head but not well enough as Sakara found a home for his fists on the back of Cote's head.   Often times fighters land shots to the back of their opponents heads and for the most part they aren't looking to cheap shot their opponent, their just throwing a storm of punches and you can't always control all of the but in this case the punches seemed excessive and referee Dan Miragliota should be commended for calling the disqualification here.

 

Cyrille Diabate-   Diabate vs Griggs was pretty much a loser leaves fight and Diabate was the more skilled of the two, picking up a victory due to a rear naked choke.   Diabate has always been a stand-up guy and never much of a ground game guy however he showed some diversity here getting Griggs to the mat and making short work of the mutten-chopped firefighter.   Griggs is no world beater but Diabate looked good here showing that he's adept enough on the ground to steal a victory every now and then.

 

John Makdessi-   With his job on the line and a huge underdog, Makdessi used some solid takedown defense to keep this one on the feet and score the better shots to earn a one sided unanimous decision.   Makdessi continues to show that given an opponent willing to slug it out on the feet, he'll always put on an entertaining fight.

 

Ivan Menjivar-   Fantastic performance here for Montreal's Menjivar who made short work of the debuting Gashimov and secured a beautiful armbar to force the tap out to the delight of his hometown fans.   Menjivar was coming off a loss to Mike Easton in his last fight and a win as impressive as this was is exactly what Menjivar was looking for and the additional $70 000 for submission of the night won't hurt either.   Keep your eyes open for Menjivar who always puts on a good show and 2013 shouldn't be any different.

 

Matt Riddle-  Coming off the only entertaining fight of UFC 149 against Chris Clements only to have the fight declared a no contest due to a positive marijuana test, Riddle wanted to get himself back to fighting taking this fight on only three weeks notice.   Although his original opponent was injured, John McGuire stepped in to fight Riddle on only a couple weeks notice giving Riddle the "butter toothed Brit" he had asked for.   This wasn't the best Riddle fight he's ever been in but he used superior striking and wrestling to keep McGuire at bay and out point the veteran of over 20 fights on route to a unanimous decision score.   Riddle continues to improve his skills and a full training camp and fight in early 2013 may see him climb the ranks of competition.

 

The Losers

 

Martin Kampmann-   Coming into his fight with Johnny Hendricks, Kampmann had gone 3-0 in his last few fights with his last two being come from behind victories but a third comeback eluded him when Hendricks caught him with a beautiful left to the jaw that dropped the durable welterweight and one follow up punch was all that was needed for the referee to stop the fight.   Kampmann is a durable fighter with a very underated wrestling game and terrific kickboxing but he was never able to get going here and Hendricks made him look like he didn't even belong in the same cage as the southpaw.   Kampmann will have a chance to get back on track in his next fight as he's a top ten welterweight and will most likely be paired with someone around the same level as him like a Carlos Condit or a Nick Diaz.

 

Anyone who watched Francis Carmont vs Tom Lawlor-   This fight was abysmal and Dana White said it best when he stated that neither guy won this fight.   Lawlor was succesful on multiple takedown attempts but Carmont was able to neutralize his strikes and keep this one a stalemate for 15 minutes.   Carmont is from France and had a sort of hometown crowd behind him given Quebec being a french speaking town much like France but it didn't seem to matter as this fight was met with a chorus of boos.   Even when the scores were read and the fight was awarded to Carmont who arguably didn't win a single round, the crowd still let both men have it and I don't think anyone who watched this will be in any rush to see either guy compete anytime soon.   The one highlight in this match up was when Tom Lawlor showed up for weigh ins on Friday night in full Shockmaster WCW garb and tripped on the stairs which no one seemed to get except the die hard WWE fans in attendance and most likely anyone reading this column.

 

Mark Bocek-   Disappointing performance here for Bocek who had been putting together a couple of wins and hopefully another run at the top contenders at lightweight until running into Raphael Dos Anjos.   Bocek was not only beaten soundly on the feet but was also unsuccesful in any of his takedown attempts.   Bocek may still be a top ten lightweight but unfortunately for him, he'll be brought back up slowly and most likely on undercards given that this fight was far from a must see.

 

Sam Stout and Mark Hominick-   These two guys have never been the same since losing their mentor and trainer Shawn Tompkins last year.   Hominick has gone 0-4 in his last four fights and three of those were on Canadian soil which should be enough motivation to get a win in his home country but he seems to be unable to pull the trigger in his recent fights and has been beat up in them pretty bad.   Sam Stout hasn't had as bad of a run as Hominick having gone 2-2 in his last fights but he too seems to be getting beaten on the feet, something seldom seen only a couple years ago.   Hominick may need to be released by the UFC to re-find that fire to be the best again and maybe the smaller shows is where he'll find it but until then, both men need to find a good camp and refine their striking techniques if their going to be dominant in their respectful divisions again.   

 

Alessio Sakara-   In a must win situation if he planned to stay employed by Zuffa, Sakara took some punches early only to rock Cote with a couple elbows and follow it up with five or six illegal punches to the back of Cote's head.   Originally it lookes as though Sakara was given the tko victory but when the fight outcome was revealed it was Cote who was awarded the disqualification victory due to the shots.   Sakara could have admitted that he became more aggressive when he hurt Cote and that his flurry may not have been as well placed as it could have been but instead Sakara claimed he had no clue his shots were hitting him in the back of the head which may have been the dumbest statement all night.   The announcing of Cote as the winner was one of the biggest ovations of the night from the Montreal fans, happy their hometown boy got a victory, as weird as it was.

 

Chad Griggs-   If there was any doubt going into this show as to whether Griggs actually deserved a job in the UFC, they were answered quickly when Cyrille Diabate made short work of an overmatched Griggs when he submitted him with a choke in the first round despite Diabate having the ground game and submission skills of an infant.   This was a must win for both guys and its a safe bet that Griggs will be handed his pink slip and continue to work full time as a firefighter.   At this point, Griggs is far removed from his upset victory over Bobby Lashley three years ago and someone with the limited skills as him has no home in the UFC.

 

Quick Results of UFC 154: St. Pierre vs Condit

 

UFC Welterweight Title- Georges "Rush" St. Pierre (23-2) defeated "The Natural Born Killer" Carlos Condit (28-6) by unanimous decision

 

Johnny Hendricks (14-1) knocked out Martin "Hitman" Kampmann (19-6) at 0:46 of the first round

 

Francis "Limitless" Carmont (20-7) defeated Tom Lawlor (8-5-1) by split decision

 

Rafael Dos Anjos (18-6) defeated Mark Bocek (11-5) by unanimous decision-  

 

Pablo "The Scarecrow" Garza (12-3) defeated Mark "The Machine" Hominick (20-12) by unanimous decision

 

Prelims

Patrick "The Predator" Cote (18-8) defeated Alessio "Legionarius" Sakara (15-10-1) by disqualification at 1:26 of the first round

Cyrille "Snake" Diabate (18-8-1) submitted Chad "Gravedigger" Griggs (11-2) to a rear naked choke at 2:44 of the first round

John 'The Bull Makdessi" (9-2) defeated Sam "Hands of Stone" Stout (18-7-1) by unanimous decision

Rodrigo Damm (10-5) vs Antonio "Pato" Carvalho (14-5)

Matt Riddle (7-9) defeated John McGuire (19-5) by unanimous decision

Ivan "The Pride of El Salvador" Menjivar (25-9) submitted Azamat Gashimov (7-2) to an armbar at 2:44 of the first round

Darren Elkins (15-2) defeated Steve Siler (21-10) by unanimous decision

 

 

Preview of UFC on FOX 5

 

FOX welcomes back the UFC this weekend for the fourth time this year in what has to be one of the best cards of the year and for a free show, that's not bad at all.   Let's have a look at what's going down in Seattle, Washington on December 8th.

 

UFC Lightweight Title- "Smooth" Ben Henderson (17-2) vs Nate Diaz (16-7)-   Fresh off two controversial wins against former UFC lightweight champion Frank Edgar, Henderson is looking to prove that he's the best lightweight in the world at the expense of rising star Nate Diaz and leave the doubters who questioned his victories over Edgar silent.   Henderson has been on a tare in the UFC since coming over two years ago from the WEC and has been in the cage and defeated the likes of Mark Bocek, Clay Guida and Frank Edgar, all experienced grapplers with good wrestling but thus far, no one's been really able to bring the fight to him with the exception of Frank Edgar, one of the quickest fighters in the sport.   Nate Diaz is a rangy scrapper with an advanced submission game and frustrating striking for opponents and eventhough he has the ability to finish Henderson on the feet or on the mat, nothings a sure thing as Henderson doesn't get finished often, if ever and I don't see that being any different here.   Henderson should be able to hold his own against Diaz on the feet and if he's having any problems, his wrestling and submission defense should be good enough to get Diaz down and rack up points with top control.   Diaz is never someone to count out especially after the run he's put together of late but I don't see Diaz style that Diaz presents giving Henderson much trouble and Henderson should be able to get a more dominant victory in this one then his last couple by keeping Diaz on his back and stuffing his submission attempts.

Prediction: Henderson by unanimous decision  

 

Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson (14-1) vs Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6)-   If you're familiar with either guy then you know that these two should put on an exciting battle on the feet and most likely steal the show.   Gustafsson has been touted for a year now as the guy most likely to give Jon Jones a run for his money and championship but he hasn't exactly turned to many heads in his latest two fights, defeating both Matt Hamill and Thiago Silva by unanimous decision and even though both guys were top ten fighters when they challenged him, he didn't exactly blow either guy away.   With a division filled with guys who have already fought and lost to Jon Jones, it's easy for people to think that someone who hasn't faced off against the champ yet is the best guy to beat him but I think it's still to early to make that call ,unless of course he looks outstanding against veteran and former UFC light heavyweight champion Shogun.   Shogun is coming off a win against Brendan Vera in a fight that saw Shogun fade as the fight progressed but still pick up the win however, Vera is barely a UFC calibre opponent and if Shogun had problems with him then someone with a similair fighting style to Vera such as Gustafsson, may have a good shot and putting him away.   Gustafsson's only loss came to Phil Davis by a kimura and despite the fact that Shogun has some submission victories to his credit, he doesn't have the wrestling or top game that's needed to keep Gustafsson on his back.   I like Gustafsson to keep this fight standing and work his reach advantage, all the while dodging Shogun's flying knee and kick attempts and applying the pressure and pace to slow down Shogun as the fight goes to the later rounds.   I don't want to count out Shogun entirely here but coming off his last few appearances shows me that he's starting to slow down and the multiple knee injuries sure seem to be piling up on him.   Wiith a hungry young gun such as Gustafsson ready to climb the ranks with a win, Shogun could be in for a long night.  

Prediction: Gustafsson by unanimous decision

 

BJ "The Prodigy" Penn (16-8-2) vs Rory MacDonald (13-1)-  Since "retiring" from the UFC last year following a loss to Nick Diaz, BJ Penn had been enjoying the life of a father until newcomer Rory MacDonald set his sights on Penn and was effective in coaxing the former two division champion into returning to the sport for an anticipated fight between the two.   MacDonald is one of the fastest rising stars in the UFC and with wins against the likes on Nate Diaz and Che Mills, he's faced some top level competition but a win over someone with the body of work such as BJ Penn would be arguably his biggest win and place him nicely into contention for a shot at the welterweight championship.   If MacDonald plans to win this one he's going to have to get Penn to the ground as Penn's punching power is arguably his best attribute but takedowns aren't necessarily going to work as Penn's ability to stuff takedowns has always given his opponents problems.   MacDonald should look to engage Penn in the clinch and work for a sweep or throw to down the Hawaian but even if he gets him down he's going to have to steer clear of giving Penn any openings as Penn's flexibilty and knowledge of submissions should leave MacDonald fighting a safe strategy and looking for side control and opportunities to land elbows.   People often question BJ's cardio and rightfully so however, a motivated BJ Penn is a scary thing and with the constant twitter arguments between the two and general dislike of one another, I think we see Penn come out with a lot of fire and a smart game plan of wanting to show that he still has steam left in him after the first and second rounds.   Rory's only career loss came to current UFC welterweight interim champion Carlos Condit in a fight that MacDonald was winning until he fell apart in the third round and Condit was able to batter him at will with shots in the third round until Rory couldn't take anymore and the referee was forced to step in.   That loss isn't exactly a blueprint on how to beat Rory but it does show us one way but with BJ's inability to conserve his energy until that late in the fight, I like Rory to steer clear of any scary moments BJ tries to put him through and use his reach and wrestling to pick up a unanimous decision and set him up nicely into the top five at welterweight.

Prediction: MacDonald by unanimous decision

 

Mike "Quick" Swick (15-4) vs Matt "The Immortal" Brown (15-11)-   Difficult fight to call here as had this fight happened prior to Swick's injuries some two years ago, he would have walked right through Brown.   Both of these men are strikers but Swick's ground game is high and above Brown's and if he can get Brown down then he should be able to finish him, however, Brown looked good in his last fight with Steven Thompson and has all the tools standing to beat him but I have to think that Swick uses his ground game to win this one after gambling on the feet in his last fight and getting lucky.   It's doubtful that Swick is going to want to test his chin here but it's always a possibility.

Prediction: Swick by submission

 

Prelims

Lavar "Big" Johnson (17-6) vs Brendan Schaub (8-3)- Prediction: Johnson by tko

Ramsey Nijem (6-2) vs Joey Proctor (8-1)- Prediction: Nijem by unanimous decision

Daron Cruickshank (11-2) vs Henry Martinez (9-2)- Prediction: Cruickshank by unanimous decision

Tim "The Dirty Bird" Means (18-3-1) vs Abel "Killa" Trujilo (9-4)- Prediction: Means by knockout

Yves Edwards (41-18-1) vs Jeremy Stephens (20-8)- Prediction: Stephens by unanimous decision

Scott "Young Guns" Jorgensen (13-6) vs John "Prince" Albert (7-3)- Prediction: Jorgensen by submission

Mike "Maverick" Chiesa (8-0) vs Marcus Levesseur (21-6)- Prediction: Chiesa by submission

Mike "The Hulk" Easton (13-1) vs Raphael Assuncao (18-4)- Prediction: Easton by unanimous decision

Dennis Siver (20-8) vs Nam Phan (18-10)- Prediction: Siver by unanimous decision

 

 

2012, The Year the UFC Would Like You to Forget

 

  I've never been a fan of the term "burnt out" but I don't think any word better fits the feeling amongst many UFC fans this year.   It seems like a combination of too many shows with low calibre talent, fights cancelled due to one of the competitors being injured, an overabundance of failed drug tests, and next to no accountability (in terms of fighters acting like idiots ) has made fans  pick and choose the shows they watch. The rating for this years shows can validate this statement.

 

  Just two years ago the UFC could seemingly do nothing wrong.   With big draws like GSP and Brock Lesnar leading the way towards big pay per view numbers and young stars like Jon Jones and Anthony Pettis making waves in their respective divisions, the future was bright for the ever expanding UFC.   Flash forward to current day and we've had everything from cancelled shows, GSP being injured and out over a year and a half, Brock Lesnar retiring, last minute injuries causing terrible fights that don't make sense and even a few fighters proving that social media and fighters are sometimes a terrible combination.   Take a look at the list I just gave as there's a very good chance that you are no longer watching because of any of these reasons.

 

  2012 saw the continued rise of fighters using social media which backfired for a couple of guys.   Miguel Torres and Forest Griffin both made jokes about rape and in Miguel's case he was actually fired from the UFC for laughing about a subject not many find humour in.     Muhammad Lawal also took to venting on Twitter after being busted for using PED's and taking his frustration out on a member of the commission calling the woman a bitch and being cut from the UFC despite the owner using harsher words than Moe on a daily basis.   To an outsider looking in, the UFC needs to be more consistant in reprimanding their fighters instead of picking and choosing who gets released and who gets a second chance.   As a Libra who has problems with fairness, it actually makes me very angry knowing Forest Griffin can do no wrong while Moe and Torres were penalized because they weren't a big star like Griffin.   The UFC has done a good job shedding the stigma of scumbag fighters competing under their banner but social media is beginning to see those goons bleed through yet again.

 

  In 2011 the UFC began to offer their fighters benefits which is a terrific idea, however since then guys have been pulling out of fights at disturbing rate.   It's good that these guys are able to be compensated when they are injured but at the same time, when you're a fan purchasing tickets or planning to have people over for a big fight and then it's cancelled a mere couple weeks before its to happen it begins to be a problem.   The injury bug hasn't just been a problem for fans but also for the UFC as well which had to cancel the Jon Jones and Dan Henderson card due to Henderson having to pull out to an injury and no replacement being found.   There were two seasons of the Ultinmate Fighter this season as well and neither Dominick Cruz/Urijah Faber or Shane Carwin/Roy Nelson happened due to injuries to Cruz and Carwin.   I don't think the UFC can do too much to prevent these sort of things from happening but as of now, its something that needs to be monitored more and these guys need to slow down a little in their camps as this is most likely the biggest problem the UFC is dealing with right now.

 

  As much as it pains me to say, at this point one of the big complaints about the UFC is the amount of shows they are having.   It's not that there are too many shows its just that it seems like most of the shows are just sort of there.   I compare it to when WCW and WWE started to do a monthly pay per view instead of just a few stacked shows every year.   Every two weeks there seems to be a UFC show but very few are worth paying for and considering that many of these shows are pay per views, the UFC's numbers are dropping.   Instead of cards taking place with no name fighters on the main card, the UFC needs to start picking and choosing more big fights for their pay per views and still be able to put a couple solid fights together on top of their smaller shows as this would make fans feel that they can't miss a single show instead of picking and choosing.

 

  Lastly, with no Brock Lesnar and very few big name draws on their roster, the UFC has to jump the gun on some of the big match ups they want to put together.   Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, GSP and Carlos Condit and Jon Jones and Rashad Evans have all taken place this year and were the UFC's most watched events but they lucked out with a couple of those fights as in the case of Sonnen, he had to win two fights before challenging Anderson Silva again after wiping the mat with Anderson in their first fight.   The UFC was real lucky to have Chael win those two fights because a loss in either one would have spoiled the rematch with the two and when the fans don't get a fight that's obviously a must see and that their salivating for, the UFC gets burned and loses out on a monsterous payday.

 

  2012 may not have been the worst year for the UFC of all time however the year did provide us with lots of proof that there is a lot of work still to do before the UFC takes that next step into legitimizing it's sport with a new audience.  

    

 

Upcoming Shows

 

UFC on FX- December 14th, 2012 from Seattle, Washington

George Sotiropolous (14-4) vs Ross Pearson (13-6)

Hector Lombard (31-3) vs Rousimar Palhares (14-4)

Chad "Money" Mendes (12-1) vs Hacran Dias (21-1-1)

Mike Pierce (15-5) vs Seth Baczynski (18-8)

Joey Beltran (14-8) vs Igor Pokrajac (25-9)

Eddie Mendez (7-0-1) vs Nick Penner (11-2)

Krzysztof Soszynski (26-12-1) vs Edinaldo "Lula" Oliveira (13-1-1)

 

UFC- December 16th, 2012 from Las Vegas, Nevada

Roy "Big Country" Nelson (17-7) vs Matt Mitrione (5-1)

Shane Del Rosario (11-1) vs Pat Barry (7-5)

Mike Pyle (23-8-1) vs James Head (9-2)

Dustin Poirier (12-2) vs Jonathan Brookins (13-5)

TJ Waldburger (15-7) vs Nick Catone (9-3)

Reuben Duran (8-3-1) vs Hugo Vianna (6-0)

Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini (20-3-1) vs Johnny Bedford (18-9-1)

Tim Elliott (8-3-1) vs Jared Papazian (14-8)

Vinc Pichel (6-0) vs Rustam "Tiger" Khabilov (14-1)

Mike Rio (8-1) vs John Cofer (7-2)

 

UFC 155 from Las Vegas, Nevada- December 29th, 2012

UFC Heavyweight Title- Junior Dos Santos (15-1) vs Cain Velasquez (10-1)

"Mr. Wonderful" Phil Davis (10-1-1) vs Forrest Griffin (19-7)

Jim Miller (21-4) vs Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon (21-7)

Costa Philippou (11-2-1) vs Tim Boetsch (16-4)

"Crippler" Chris Leben (22-8) vs Karlos Vemola (9-3)

Alan "The Talent" Belcher (18-6) vs Yushin Okami (27-7)

Todd Duffee (7-2) vs Philip De Fries (9-1-1)

Brad "One Punch" Pickett (22-6) vs Eddie Wineland (19-8-1)

Erik "El Goyito" Perez (12-4) vs Byron Bloodworth (6-2)

Michael Johnson (12-6) vs Myles Jury (10-0)

Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia (15-9-1) vs Cody McKenzie (13-3)

John Moraga (12-1) vs Chris Cariaso (14-3)

 

UFC on FX 7- January 19th, 2013 from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Michael Bisping (23-4) vs Vitor Belfort (21-10)

Daniel Sarafian (7-2) vs CB Dollaway (12-4)

Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6) vs Ben Rothwell (32-8)

Thiago Tavares (17-4-1) vs Khabib Nurmagomedov (18-0)

Godofredo Castro (8-1) vs Milton Viera (13-7-2)

Ronny Markes (13-1) vs Andrew Craig (8-0)

Nik Lentz (22-5-2) vs Diego Nunes (18-3)

Edson Barboza (10-1) vs Justin Salas (10-4)

Michael Kuiper (12-1) vs Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo (9-1-1)

Yuri Alcantara (28-4) vs George Roop (12-9-1)

Wagner Prado (8-1) vs Roger Hollett (13-4)

Francisco Trinaldo (11-2) vs CJ Keith (8-1)

 

UFC on FOX 6- January 26th, 2013 from Chicago, Illinois

UFC Flyweight Title- Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) vs John Dodson (14-5)

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (32-10) vs Glover Texeira (19-2)

Anthony "Showtime" Pettis (15-2) vs Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (19-4)

Hatsu Hioki (26-5-2) vs Clay Guida (29-13)

Erik "New Breed" Kock (13-1) vs Ricardo Lamas (12-2)

TJ Grant (19-5) vs Matt Wiman (15-6)

Mike Russow (15-2) vs Shawn Jordan (13-4)

 

UFC 156- February 2nd, 2013 from Las Vegas, Nevada

UFC Featherweight Title- Jose Aldo (21-1) vs Frank Edgar (14-3-1)

Alistair Overeem (36-11) vs Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (17-4)

"Sugar" Rashad Evans (17-2-1) vs Antonio Rogerio "Minotoro" Nogueira (20-5)

Jon Fitch (24-4-1) vs Demian Maia (17-4)

Urijah Faber (29-6) vs Vaughan Lee (12-8-1)

Erick Silva (14-3) vs Jay Hieron (23-6)

 

UFC 157- February 23rd, 2013 from Anaheim, California

Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida (18-3) vs Dan Henderson (29-8)

 

 

That’s all for this week everyone and I hope you enjoyed the new layout of "Fightin' Words".   Check back next week for a breakdown of the upcoming Ultimate Fighter finale's on December 14th and 15th and my thoughts on attending UFC events live.   Take care everyone!   




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