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Notes and rants from the blogs

Luke Thomas has an article over at BE entitled, “Keith Jardine Will Defeat Wanderlei Silva.

Obviously the first thing to note is how seemingly incorrect the title of the piece appears to be. Let me start by saying I pride myself on predictions. I figure I hit about 86% on MMA fights and it’s something I hang my hat on. Ask Sam Caplan how surprised I was when Schultz beat Taurosevicius on the recent IFL show. When someone I pick to win loses I almost take it personally. Even with a few of the PRIDE veterans struggling in the UFC I saw all of those coming outside of Cro Cop. There are people out there that are more knowledgeable than I am about certain aspects but across the board in sports I pride myself on predicting who will win a vast majority of the time.

First of all, Luke is correct that the UFC won’t cut Wanderlei Silva following a decent loss. If they want to renegotiate his contract they know full well he could head back over to DREAM, get six figures, and pick up a couple of easy wins to continue his star. But Wanderlei won’t lose to Keith Jardine. I can perhaps see a Liddell/Wandy-like decision where it’s a slugfest and Jardine’s leg kicks end up wooing the judges. This is fairly plausible. But Jardine’s chin is more than questionable and with another unorthodox guy like Wanderlei in there with him I can’t help but think something hard is going to connect. The Houston Alexander fight was not a fluke for Keith Jardine. He fought a more powerful guy and got caught with a single punch. This doesn’t mean Houston is better than Jardine (my old college football comparison of Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State > Michigan applies). Rankings should be made based on how many guys below you you’re capable of beating. Matchups will always mess that up as someone worse than you can sometimes have an advantage. Keith Jardine is a better fighter than Houston Alexander, though if they fought again I’d take Alexander, again, by first round knockout. That’s just the way the game is played.

Jardine won’t be able to take all of Silva’s onslaught and he will get dropped. I see that fight about 85% for Wanderlei and life will go on.

Secondly, an excellent note over at AOL about Roy Nelson.

I told Sam prior to the fight that Nelson would “rape” Brad Imes. Not literally of course, I wouldn’t choose to watch that. Nelson is very much in the same league as Ben Rothwell, a top 10-15 heavyweight in every sense.

While on the surface this article seems smart, stating that if Nelson took everything seriously and was more cut he’d be a better fighter, I just don’t think so. Seeing him in Bodog and the IFL I just don’t ever see him as a top five fighter. I don’t care if he had washboard abs and buns you could fry an egg on. Roy Nelson is what he is, a very solid fighter. If he lost 30 pounds I really don’t think he’d be any better than he is now. In fact he uses his size and weight to his advantage better than almost anyone in the sport. I respect Roy Nelson and I assume, depending on his competition, that he’ll hold that IFL title for a long while. I just don’t see losing weight being some big career changer for him.

People talking about this sport seem to think weight is such an important thing. Oh my God, Bisping dropped to 185lbs, he’s going to be huge and dominate! Not necessarily. Oh my God, this welterweight is dropping to lightweight! Doesn’t mean he has a chance in hell against BJ Penn or Sean Sherk. Weight and shape can be a key but just because Mike Swick goes from middleweight to welterweight doesn’t mean he’s cleaning out a division. In fact he’s less powerful and less entertaining at a smaller weight and he doesn’t have the wrestling skills to deal with the elite in the division. As with all MMA do not judge on simple theories, matchups are matchups and they mean everything. When you lose weight you lose something else along with it.

Finally, Junkie has an article up about my man crush Shane Carwin.

Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez are for real. We hear alot about prospects but these guys could both be making huge advancements in our sport for years to come. I can see Carwin as a modern day Coleman or Kerr, a guy bringing something new to the sport and taking it over. It’s modern wrestling. It’s wrestling with big strikes and a ground game with dominating control. Make no mistake, Shane Carwin is a beast.

The UFC is either doing him no favors or doing him a big one in giving him Christian Wellisch at UFC 84. Wellisch is no joke and poses a big threat to the mechanical engineer. Wait, I think I’m getting Wellisch and Carmelo Marrero confused again. It’s a recurring problem.

I digress, Velasquez made his statement and now it’s on Carwin with a much more difficult opponent. When it comes to predictions and ideas where fights are going I always look at Joe Silva. He’s a very underlooked source as to fight outcomes. Nate Diaz, a TUF winner, was given Kurt Pellegrino. I figured this to be far too much of a test but Diaz won and won convincingly in the end. Joe Silva knows more than we do and he makes fights for a reason. If he’s giving a young stud and superstar in training like Shane Carwin a guy like Christian Wellisch I have to think there is a reason and it will work out in the end.

Do as I do and live by a simple saying before you pick your fights. Who would Joe Silva like to see win?

  • woooburn says:

    nice piece. i need to start paying better attention to your fight picks cus i’m HORRIBLE. you should try score a good interview with joe silva. it’d be interesting to hear his thought process when picking fights (even though that might be considered trade secrets). maybe do it like some of the junkie articles where readers can submit questions as well. perhaps it’s been done to death, and i’ve just never read any of them, but i think an interview with him, as well as dana white could clea up alot of misconceptions people seem to have.

  • HexRei says:

    i wish i gave a shit about other sports cause it might make some of the analogies i see here make more sense :) can’t i just jack my brain into something and download the info somewhere…

  • Terrence says:

    Wand at 85%? Really? So you think he’s a fair bet at -500? He’s -165 on Pinnacle right now. If I had your confidence in Silva, I”d be betting obscene sums of money on him with that kind of overlay.

  • Terrence says:

    er, “fair bet at -600”.

  • Terrence says:

    no, 500 was right. Brain fried. Either way, you’re either nuts or the betting public is completely out to lunch.

  • Diego Baeza C. says:

    Funny thing I also take a lot of pride in my predictions and I’m almost sure that Keith Jardine will beat Wanderlei. I’d píck Keith Jardine any day over Wanderlei, just wait and you’ll see.

    On the other hand, you can’t really say that Jardine losing to Alexander was no fluke. It was THE biggest fluke. Jardine had absolutely no motivation for that fight (that’s not really Alexander’s problem though) and just got caught and it wasn’t just by one punch. Jardine held on for awhile before the ref went on in and stopped the fight. Calling Jardine’s chin “questionable” is something I’d never expect from you. Come on, Jardine fought Gouveia (who’s recently showed a lot ok KO power, ask Jason Lambert), Bonnar, Griffin, and Chuck Liddell and if my memory doesn’t fail he never even got dazed. He did recognize after the Liddell fight that some punches felt really hard but it didn’t show that much in the fight.

    Anyone feels the same?

  • ultmma says:

    your a idiot for using the word “rape” when analyzing Imes vs. Nelson…..i’m guessing your not to lucky with the opposite sex if you talk like that

  • Echolocating says:

    Watch the Alexander/Jardine fight again and you just might see the part where Houston slipped a bit at the beginning and Keith looked like he thought he hurt him. However, we all know that Houston wasn’t hurt and Jardine got surprised by that fact (and Houston’s awesome power). Keith took a lot of punches and still hung on for a while. I didn’t see any indication of a glass jaw there; just a guy who made a mistake and got punished for it. Maybe you’re thinking about a different fight regarding Jardine’s chin?

    That said, Jardine’s a blue-collar fighter. I like that quality about him and hope he wins. I like Wanderlei, but after watching them both fight Liddell, how can you pick him over Keith Jardine? Oh right, the Houston fight was no fluke and Jardine was lucky to woo the judges with legs kicks against Liddell… right.

  • MoreThanUFC says:

    “I figure I hit about 86% on MMA fights”
    Any proof of this? A bank statement proving youre a multimillionaire will suffice.

  • #1 – Joe Silva seriously is a key people overlook. The future of the UFC is in his hands and again, he knows more than all of us. Sure the occasional Kendall Grove gets by him and the rest of us. But most of the time he makes fights that makes sense for the UFC and most of the time the guy he’d want to win does win. Just think about the matchups and how it benefits them. It’s great for picking.

    #3 – I rarely to never pick anyone at more than -200. It’s not worth it and I’m normally a big upset guy (say when I tipped Jason Day at +300). I’m outside of BJ Penn, who I’d tip at -210 for a sure win and I’ve seen as small as -175. Penn will beat Sherk. Done and done.

    #6 – All of that is valid. Though you can’t say, “well he just didn’t take him seriously.” That says something about the fighter. I can see Jardine beating Wandy, it’s possible, I just don’t think it will happen based on the matchup. Jardine’s chin is an incredibly big question mark and shouldn’t be overlooked considering his opponent. For the fourth time, matchups are everything.

    #7 – Grow up. I use the word “rape” frequently when I feel someone will destroy someone else. I can only assume you were raped in prison by large people from a minority group and you’re sensitive to the word. I am sorry for that. I hope your butt is okay.

    #8 – again, fine points. But I can watch the Jardine/Alexander fight over and over again and each time I will see a guy not taking a guy seriously and getting KTFO. It’s something to be noted that maybe he felt it wasn’t a big deal but that should also be noted Obviously that won’t happen vs Wandy and perhaps that’s a solid note. Again, I can see Wandy losing a decision to him. I however see no way in shit Wandy loses via stoppage in that fight.

    #9 – I’m starting an MMA betting site with a rich betting guy I’ve known for about 6 years in the coming months. It makes me uncomfortable as I hate putting peoples money on the line but it is what it is. On the last UFC card I marked my three tips were Clementi +130, Maia -200, and Jason Day +300. Sure I won’t always be perfect (and to be fair I didn’t tip Day I just said it was obvious money and the best line as Belcher -400 might be the worst line in the history of gambling). I’ve made people thousands of dollars, I just feel weird tipping fights as I feel it personally if that person loses.

  • And I’ll also note that I’m in my mid-twenties and I own my own house in full (though the damn storm last week blew tiles off my roof). Because of college football betting. Namely the fact I bet on WAC and Sun Belt football a few years ago as I knew more than Vegas and Boise State is my hero before they became a sweetheart. Granted watching UL-Monroe vs Troy isn’t fun but it makes you money.

    Take advantage of MMA, if you read this blog you probably know more about the sport than 99% of other people. I’m not guaranteeing money or suggesting, just saying if this is your thing you should take advantage of it.

  • Echolocating says:

    Jardine’s got a lot more riding on this fight than Wanderlei. I think Keith Jardine is hungrier. If Jardine losses, he’s gotta fight his way back up from near the bottom. But if he wins, I think it would be an injustice to not have him fight for the title.

    If Wanderlei wins, he just kind of sits in a position amongst the other light heavyweights where fans expect him to be based on his past success in Pride. However, if he loses, he’s going to be encouraged to lose a little bulk and drop down a weight class where he’ll pretty much be an immediate contender.

    This is Jardine’s fight to lose, I feel. Not the other way around. I think one fight people seem to easily forget was the Griffin/Jardine one. Seriously, I don’t think you’re giving enough credit to Jardine, Michael. We’ll see soon enough though. I can hardly wait for this one. 😉

  • Diego Baeza C. says:

    Exactly. I don´t know why you’re overlooking Jardine that much. Jardine’s chin has absolutely no question marks. The guy can take a punch and doesn’t get dazed. I had forgotten the slip mentioned above in the Alexander fight. Jardine is going to come extremely well prepared for this fight. Anyways, we’ll see what happens on the 24th.

    On the Roy Nelson/Brad Imes fight I have to agree with you. Though I wouldn’t take much pride in saying beforehand that Nelson would raope Imes. Who has Imes really beat that would make you think other way? Of course Nelson was going to rape him. On a side note, Ron Cruck (I believe that’s his name, the guy from HDNET) calling Nelson top 10 heavyweight is just plain stupid. The toughest fight for Nelson was against Rothwell which he lost (even though I think he should have won) and Rothwell isn’t really among the top 10, not just yet. Beating Imes certainly doesn’t put you up there either.

  • ultmma says:

    #10 great logic. If you use the word often than its ok. sarcasm.

    I stand by my statement may be lucky with your bets batting .860 but not where it counts with the ladies if you talk like that.

    great blog just step up your vocab and than you’ll writing will grow up

  • MoreThanUFC says:

    “than you’ll writing will grow up”. Holy LOL.

    Well, then cool for you Mike. I’ll keep my eyes open for your picks.

  • Tony Evinger says:

    I see your point Mike, but there is another aspect to weight you may have overlooked in this match-up. I source of mine very close to the UFC (it would not be fair of me to say who, since I don’t have their permission, and I’m not going to do what Tito just did to GSP with this guy) has told me that what nobody in the UFC wants to talk about publicly is how small Wanderlei looks these days. He estimated he has dropped at least 15-20 pounds in his walking-around-weight from his days in Pride. No longer are Wanderlei’s veins and muscles bulging out, ready to burst from his skin.

    I’m not one to throw around accusations at fighters, but draw from that what conclusions you will. Either way, Wanderlei has gone from a beast to a very under-sized LHW. I think Jardine will be able to use this significantly to his advantage.

    Now I know you have no reason to believe me on this, or my anonymous “source”, since I would usually disregard internet nonsense, as well. But that is my two cents on the subject, and why I think Jardine will be able to impose his will as the larger, stronger fighter.

    Also, remember that Wanderlei has never had the power in his hands that someone like Liddell or Houston Alexander posess. He is a strong puncher, but a lot of his KO’s came virtue of moves that UFC rules do not allow – soccer kicks and foot stomps. I just don’t think he will be testing Jardine’s chin quite as much as you think he will.

  • Tony Evinger says:

    One more thing, Mike.

    I think it is an excellent argument you make to consider what Joe Silva and the UFC want to happen. But I don’t really like your Diaz/Pellegrino example. I too, thought Pellegrino was too much for Diaz before the fight. But don’t forget that until Pellegrino slammed Diaz, and then bewilderingly he decided to casually sidle into Diaz’s triangle choke, Pellegrino dominated every single second of that fight. Were it not for the dumbfounding finish, it was easily a 10-8 round for Pellegrino, and he was seconds away from a finish earlier in that round. I don’t know if the slam hurt Pellegrino, or he was disoriented, but whatever happened, it was simply not something that was predictable. I would bet Pellegrino in a rematch any day, and I really like Diaz.

    Hard to imagine Joe Silva had inside knowledge that Pellegrino would inexplicably walk into a waiting triangle choke given his grappling pedigree. And if Joe Silva did have knowledge of this, then that is a scary thought, and I would stop betting altogether and hope the state athletic commissions would look into it.

  • Bic says:

    Some decent points, the only thing is that I don’t think the LHW division is all that easy to decipher. Chuck is a little slower these days while Wandy has less of an arsenal. Jardine shows a lot of potential but he can get caught. With the match making of the LHW division it is a little harder to know who is a number one contender and who isn’t. Everyone is beating each other and not really being able to rack up a solid streak of wins all the while Rampage isn’t getting challenged. I think Wandy wins this fight but not by KO. Chances are this will be another slug fest but it won’t be all that interesting. The exact outcome for either fighter winning isn’t set in stone either making this a little less interesting as well.

    On a side note, not very many females view these blogs so using the word rape is not going to drive them away lol. I think someone thinks they are a ladies man 😉 lucky number 7 lol


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