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Grappling with Issues – 8/27/10

Who do you want to see Vitor Belfort face off against at UFC 123? How long will it take Randy Couture to shoot on James Toney? Will Bobby Lashley ever fight again? Are Ken Florian/Gray Maynard more deserving of a shot at the title than Frank Edgar if he loses the belt to BJ Penn?

Keyboard warrrrriors….come out to plaaaay-yay!

Welcome to “Grappling with Issues”, our site’s regular weekly feature highlighting insight and opinion from Adal Tool and myself on six subjects plucked from the Mixed Martial Arts landscape. However, just because we staffers get the fancy set-up, please don’t feel precluded from dishing out your own thoughts on each matter in the comments section at the bottom of the column…

How high/low of a percentage would you give the chances of Bobby Lashley retiring from Mixed Martial Arts after what you saw last Saturday night at “Strikeforce – Houston”?

Adam Tool: I’d put it somewhere around 50%. From the moment he entered the sport it’s never seemed to me that Lashley was all that into being the best mixed-martial artist he could be. The clearest indicator of that would have to be the fact that he continued on in professional wrestling even after his first MMA fight. We also can’t overlook the fact that all six of his opponents to this point have been fairly “low-risk” in terms of their skillset. Lashley has been in this sport for the money since day one, and I will believe that until I see any proof to the contrary.

At this point I think it’s safe to say that he won’t be competing for the heavyweight championship anytime soon. He’s made a few remarks claiming he wants some bigger name opponents, but I can’t see Lashley doing any better against the top names in Strikeforce than he did this past Saturday against Chad Griggs. If Scott Coker is serious about signing Dave Bautista then there’s at least one high-profile fight left for Lashley, but I’m willing to be that this last fight represents the beginning of the end.

Conlan: I’d put them moderately low, at about 33%, since I think the competitive athlete in him won’t want to call it quits on such a sour note. However, the look on his face at the end of the first round wasn’t one you typically see splashed across a fighter’s mug, and I remember thinking at the time that it was the first moment he truly realized what was at stake in the cage. Lashley looked confused, even a little scared, after Griggs opened up a gash next to his eye and helped redecorate Strikeforce’s canvas in the process. I also think it’s interesting he hasn’t made any significant comments – possibly any comments – since the loss.

A necessary component in the make-up of even a mid-tier fighter is an ability to fully commit to the endeavor; to go on until either your body gives out or you are at risk of serious harm by continuing to compete (in a submission for example). It’s one of the many qualities separating true fighters from every day Joes. Lashley didn’t look like he wanted to be in the ring anymore after Griggs opened him up in the opening frame, while I can think of countless other situations where fighters who have been hurt answered the bell full of piss and vinegar, ready to finish things or be finished. Perhaps it was a matter of conditioning, an adrenaline dump, or the amount of oxygen Lashley’s frame requires to function. Perhaps his heart is in a sport where he’s risking consciousness and scars that last a lifetime. I just didn’t get that watching him in Houston, and as such I think there’s a chance he could retire. However, I have faith he won’t, at least not before bringing Japan to America with a bout against Bautista.

True/False – The rematch between BJ Penn and Frank Edgar will also go a full five rounds.

Tool: False. Despite the fact that both of these fighters are notoriously tough to put away, I still think that this one ends without the need for the judges’ scorecards. This predication is primarily based on who I think will win the fight and that would be BJ Penn.

I don’t want to underestimate Edgar’s abilities. The man is dangerously quick with an incredible assortment of strikes. At UFC 112 he was actually able to take BJ down, a feat that is nearly impossible to accomplish given Penn’s freakish sense of balance. All that being said, I don’t believe that on that evening in Abu Dhabi we saw the same BJ Penn that has dominated the lightweight division for years. He seemed sluggish and hesitant to pull the trigger. When he did throw his overhand right (a punch that can easily end the night of any fighter) he was telegraphing it so much that he may as well have shouted out, “Hey Frankie, I am throwing my power punch at you!”

I believe the loss at UFC 112 has forced Penn to take Edgar that much more seriously. BJ has made it clear plenty of times that the belt is not what drives him – it’s his legacy in the sport and quality of his record. He’s not coming to Boston this weekend to reclaim his title, he’s coming to avenge that loss. I believe he’ll do so in devastating fashion and put Edgar away somewhere around the halfway point of the fight.

Conlan: This is also a “false” for me. BJ is never more-dangerous than when he’s motivated by a loss. He will be looking to replace the sour taste of the judges’ scores from UFC 112 with Edgar’s blood freshly lapped from the top of his gloves, and because of that I suspect we’ll see a much more aggressive Penn at UFC 118 than the one who lost his belt to Edgar last April. Look for him to throw combos rather than sticking once and moving away, as he seemed to do a good job of countering Edgar when they first fought but never really pressed the action afterwards.

I also expect his jiujitsu to come into play more often than it did in their original bout (which really isn’t saying much when you consider how little grappling was involved). Edgar is a great wrestler, but Penn is dangerous from any position on the ground and should show it in Boston. I think he was overconfident in his stand-up after the way he performed against Sean Sherk and Diego Sanchez and will go back to mixing his attack up this go-round. The champ has yet to be finished in his career, but he also hasn’t faced a “Prodigy” who has as much to prove as the one he’ll be in the Octagon with tomorrow night.

Vitor Belfort recently announced he would be fighting again in November. Who would you like to see “The Phenom” face in his return to the Octagon?

Tool: Common sense tells us exactly who Belfort’s opponent should be, and that’s the man most people still feel is the #1 contender in Chael Sonnen. Sonnen vs. Belfort is the no-brainer match-up to determine the next contender for early 2011 when Anderson Silva is ready to go again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC doesn’t make that match-up. The pool for middleweight contenders is still quite low and Dana White may not want to eliminate one in favor of the other, particularly when he already knows he can slot Sonnen in for a rematch immediately after what happened earlier this month.

The UFC clearly wants to put Belfort in a title fight and to do so they need him to get a solid win over a credible opponent. With that in mind I say let’s do Vitor Belfort vs. Chris Leben. Leben has been a bit of a tear this year with his wins over Aaron Simpson and Yoshihiro Akiyama and he has enough name value with the fans that a win over him certainly means something. If anything Belfort vs. Leben would be an epic slugfest with “Fight of the Night” written all over it. That’s the match-up I want to see so I say make it happen.

Conlan: This is the first of two topics semi-foiled by this recent news. Anyways, as the world learned from Belfort himself this past week, since it won’t be Sonnen it seems the only logical candidates are Yushin Okami or Chris Leben. I suppose it’s also possible Demian Maia could slide into a spot opposite “The Phenom” depending on how he fares against Mario Miranda tomorrow night at UFC 118.

Out of the bunch I’m on the same page as Tool, as Leben has the most appeal for a few reasons. His style matched with Vitor’s is equivalent to combining gun powder with flame. The result would surely involve more power-shots than feeler-jabs and a TKO at some point before the third round. Also, like Adam pointed out, Leben has won three in a row including the victories over Akiyama and Simpson. Okami has come away with his hands raised five times out of the last six he’s fought, but none of his wins were particularly memorable or over exceptional talent. Comparably, Leben is coming off one of the most entertaining scraps of 2010 if not the last few years (against Akiyama). Honestly, there’s really not a lot of room for debate in my mind, and I’ll be a bit disappointed if someone else receives the nod over Leben without him having first crack at it.

What is the most intriguing match-up outside of the UFC for the new Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael “Feijao Cavalcante?

Conlan: The winner of Renato Sobral’s rumored fight against Dan Henderson makes the most sense to me since the UFC has the bulk of the sport’s top 205ers and there’s nobody else on the Strikeforce roster who deserves to be, or is a big enough name to sell as, a contender for Cavalcante’s belt. Their history and success in MMA makes them credible contenders in the eyes of most fans and really that’s all Strikeforce can ask for with such a thin light heavyweight division.

Sobral, who has forty-four fights to his credit and has won six of his last seven bouts, wasn’t willing to square off with former light heavyweight champ Mo Lawal due to their relationship as friends and training partners. However, if “Babalu” beats Henderson, not only will he have defeated a highly respected competitor but he also brings a built-in angle to sell the “Feijao” fight with (i.e. knocking off the guy who knocked off his long-time buddy).

Henderson, on the other hand, may have lost his only fight thus far in Strikeforce but had won three in the UFC prior to facing Jake Shields and has been relatively vocal for a long time about his preference to compete at 205 pounds rather than 185. He’s a legend in the sport whose world-class wrestling and a devastating right hand make him a threat to beat any opponent he faces. Strikeforce doesn’t have another light heavyweight with his credentials on their payroll making “Hendo” as logical a choice as you’ll find for Cavalcante’s first title defense.

Tool: I won’t argue with Brendhan’s assessment that the winner of a potential “Babalu”/Henderson fight deserves the top contender spot. If that fight is made, the winner would undoubtedly provide a stern test for Cavalcante’s first title defense. On top of that there’s really no way for the result to be a bad fight no matter how things shake out.

That being said, I’ve got someone else in mind to match up against “Feijao” first. As Brendhan pointed out a majority of the talent at 205 lbs. resides within the UFC, but there’s one man who doesn’t call the octagon his home and that man is Gegard Mousasi. His stock has dropped since the loss to “King Mo” but he’s still ranked as one of the top light heavyweights in the world. A more compelling reason though is the fact that Cavalcante vs. Mousasi is a guaranteed barn-burner of a fight. Both men are dangerous strikers with certified knockout power, and they both have plenty of skill in the submissions department. I’ll concede that Mousasi may not be the most deserving contender but he’s definitely the next fighter I want to see get in the cage with Cavalcante.

Do you believe that the winner of the Kenny Florian/Gray Maynard fight should be the next #1 contender, regardless of the outcome in the lightweight championship fight?

Conlan: Yes, especially in the case of Maynard. However, I also want to say the second-part of the topic is fairly broad and there’s always the possibility of an official’s error ending things controversially which could create a unique situation.

However, assuming that isn’t the case, then obviously Penn wouldn’t deserve a third crack at the belt after losing two in a row, and though Edgar might have more of a case to argue if he isn’t dominated or finished in the bout, even a razor-thin decision loss to Penn shouldn’t afford the New Jersey native an instant rematch. As unfair as that sounds, or may actually be, the reality is an immediate rubber match would stagnate the division by having the same two men face off for the belt three times over the span of a year rather than injecting a little life into the 155-pound pool by giving a new contender his shot at glory.

Depending on the outcome of their main card bout, Maynard would be undefeated with wins over a number of very respectable, highly ranked opponents, while Florian would be 9-1 in his last ten bouts with the only loss coming to Penn a little over a year ago. Both can easily be sold as having earned top contendership in comparison to their peers based on in-ring accomplishments, and they both have natural storylines attached for promotional use regardless of who walks away with the title on Saturday night. For example, Maynard is the only person to have beaten Edgar thus far in his career (and did so in convincing fashion) while also being a former training partner of Penn’s and a member of the Hawaiian’s team on the Ultimate Fighter Season 5. On the flipside, Florian has never faced Edgar so their pairing would make for a fresh match-up, while also being able to attribute his only loss since October 2006 to “Baby Jay” thereby creating a natural “revenge” angle the UFC can use to sell the fight with.

Tool: During the time between Brendhan and I submitting our answers Dana White confirmed that the winner of this fight would be next in line for a shot at the title, but for the sake of this article we’ll press on anyways.

Nobody can argue that Maynard wouldn’t deserve his shot with a win over Florian. You can point out the fact that he’s not finishing his opponents, but you cannot argue with the quality of opposition that he’s beaten. In all fairness he probably should have been the one to face Penn at UFC 112, but a victory over the company’s best lightweight to never hold a title would leave no more room for delaying Maynard’s shot at the gold.

Florian is a tougher sell despite his outstanding record and popularity with the fans. It was exactly a year ago this month that he received his last shot at the title, and if Penn does reclaim his belt on Saturday the UFC will have to convince fans that Penn vs. Florian 2 is a compelling match-up. As Dana White has pointed out Florian seems to turn into a different fighter whenever he’s fighting for a title, so it’ll take some convincing from “Ken-Flo” that he’s ready to step up once again.

Give your estimation for how long it will take Randy Couture to shoot in for a takedown against James Toney.

Conlan: Outside of using a few leg-kicks to soften Toney up there’s absolutely no reason for “The Natural” to stand with someone who has the boxing champ’s power/technique. Couture’s chin has never been known for a great deal of durability and there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll go to sleep if Toney connects with a single well-placed shot. It’s obvious his best chance for success is to neutralize Toney’s weapons by dragging “Lights Out” down to the canvas and introducing the “mixed” part of MMA to him, and the longer Couture waits to bring his wrestling prowess into the match-up the more risk he’s at of taking an involuntary mid-ring snooze. That being said, I think less than a minute will pass before Couture closes the distance and attempts a takedown. It might even be less than thirty seconds.

Tool: I’m going to go even lower than Brendhan and guess 10 seconds. I don’t expect Randy to throw more than a few loose jabs before dipping down and grabbing a double-leg takedown, and I see no reason why he won’t be able to finish that takedown. From there it should be academic, as Randy will likely be able to easily pass whatever Toney has that passes for a guard. I see Randy winning this fight via submission in lightning quick fashion.

Toney may want people to believe that he’s ready to step into mixed-martial arts, but the reality of the situation is that even with 3-6 months of hard training he’s just not going to be ready. There have been plenty of fighters that have spent years in the sport and they couldn’t beat Couture, so outside of a lucky punch what chance does Toney really have?

  • Angry Mike says:

    Imo, Penn v. Edgar could easily go the distance. Edgar was just too quick and elusive for Penn, and you can’t teach speed. If it goes the distance, Edgar has the edge.

    A big “hell yeah” for Belfort v. Leben.

    If Maynard wins by decision, the number one contender spot is still unsettled. Maynard has won but not dominated. Eking out another decision would just open the door to more debate. In order to be the number one contender, he has to win decisively, which I don’t think he can do.

    Couture and a double or single leg takedown? It’s more likely he moves in and presses Toney against the cage for some dirty boxing first. Greco grappling first to set up the takedown.

  • #1 I’m gonna go with 45%. Lashley looked like he didnt quite know what happened to him out there and once again he looked like he wanted out as soon as he was cut. However that happens to alot better fighters once they get cut(Joe Stevenson against Penn being my best example) joe may have come out on his toes thinkin he looked like he had a positive outlook, but in reality he looked like he was just tryin to push his sense of impending doom away. Lashley had never faced adversity in his career before that and the first time a fighter is in trouble is something that can make or break them. When Carwin got cracked by Gonzaga he looked horrified until Gabe took him down, then he relaxed and got his bearings back. I think the next time he fights we’ll really see if that loss drove him to work harder….or if it just broke him.

    #2 im super torn on this, I wanna say false but thats just me thinkin BJ will win and he’s comin out trying to not only avange the loss. but prove a point. Frankie is a bit of a decision machine lately against better fighters. Veach being the only exception. That being said I think BJ will be comin out firing combos and trying to put Frankie on his back to use his crazy ground control.

    #3 I gotta go with Leben on this one for all the obvious reasons. That incredible chin and never broken spirit of Leben is the perfect combo of skills to counter act the light speed hands of Vitor. Just as with Rich Franklin we all knew Rich was gonna get cracked a few times, we just all wondered how soon it would happen and how Ace would deal with it. Apparently not very well. I dont think Chris will have that problem.

    #4 Im gonna go way off base and say Keith Jardine. While Keith suffered a terrible string of losses in the UFC, I think that the last two (Hammil and Bader) were more mental than the dean gettin out classed. Call me crazy but he just didnt look himself in either one. I think after he takes down Prangley SF should snatch him up right away and make this match. When Keith comes to play he can beat anyone on any given night with his awkward and excellent footwork.

    #5 Yes. The winner of tomorrow night’s number one contender fight should for sure get their title shot. Kenny may not have been overly impressive against Penn last year but he did alot better than either Diego or Sherk did arguably winning a round or two due to his ability to keep BJ on the fence for the bulk of every round. If he hadn’t got cracked in the first and had a little apprehension about that big power he may have unleashed his muay thai and possibly got the finish by cut. Gray has nowhere else to go if he wins. He’s already beaten everyone of any real value at LW that’s been around awhile with the only up and coming competitor i could see him needing to fight being Sotiropolous.(who i think the loser should fight either way)

    #6 15 seconds. I see Randy comin out and crackin Toney with a big Leg Kick forcing Lights out to engage and Randy just ducking under the barrage slamming Toney and putting him away with a choke in the next thirty seconds to a minute. Otherwise Toney may be the first person to get head kick KO’d by The Natural when Randy throws a rare headkick to keep Toney’s power hand out of play(same plan Forrest used against Rampage)

  • Rece Rock says:

    -Lashley ain’t retiring with out a Big Pay Day and a Big win over Dave Bautista the nmaybe it’s a wrap.

    -False I think BJ will be looking to end this ASAP

    -I’m down with Vitor vs. the Crippler… anybody versus the Crippler I’m down for… can’t wait to see Leben fight again.

    -I think Dan Henderson would be the best selling and one of the more interesting match ups in SF for Cavalcante may be hendo can show King mo what wrestling could have done for him in that match up.

    -Agreed- winner of the Kenny Florian/Gray Maynard fight should be the next #1 contender…really what can we do about it?? It’s just the way it is right now.

    – I think there will be alot of feeling out before the initial engagement but I think it will take under a minute before its on the ground… I think as much as it’s a given Randy is winning the fight I think we will see something surprising from Toney one way or the other… he is still a fighter regardless of what discipline and I’m sure he picked up a lil something here and there, while training…

  • MCM says:


    I’m gonna agree with everything you said except the part about Jardine and Randy (I agree with Rece about Randy). Jardine is my favorite fighter and I’m glad to see him taking on a guy as tough as Prangley, but there is no way he should be fighting for a belt coming off his string of losses. He should have to prove that he can win consistently to get a crack at a belt in one of the big 3 orgs, i.e. Strikeforce, UFC, Bellator. I also don’t think he’d ever sign with Strikeforce cause he wants back in with the UFC. If he puts together two or three wins in the smaller orgs, I believe Dana will call him back to the big show.
    The next fight will be the winner of Hendo/Sobral and if Sokoudjou can get passed Houston the next title defense will be against the winner of Sokoudjou and Mousasi.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    A little birdie just told me Belfort’s UFC 123 opponent is going to be Okami.

  • MCM says:

    Brendhan Conlan says:
    August 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    “A little birdie just told me Belfort’s UFC 123 opponent is going to be Okami.”

    Booo-urns. Tell your birdie we want Leben.

  • Swing Em says:

    I’m 75% sure Lashley will be back & hopefully he’ll bring some improved stand up with him.

    As much as I would like to see “the Answer” keep the strap, mainly because of BJ’s rude comments, i think Penn takes this one by Armbar in the 2nd.

    I’ve been saying for weeks that Belfort should fight Leben. It has title implications & both men fight for the KO what more could you ask for?

    I think “Hendo” would give “Beans” the toughest test out of the SF LHW division. He has all the wrestling ability of Mo with 10x the chin.

    Yes, the winner of Maynard v Florian deserves a shot at the belt regardless of whose wearing it after Saturday night. I hoping for a classic “KenFlo” RNC finish, Gray Maynard is just so BORING, it’s like watching a little Jon Fitch w/ a tramp stamp smother people for 15 mins.

    Randy will take James “Lights Out” Toney down within 20 seconds & choke him out in under 90. And from 8/28/10 until the Rapture he shall be known as James “Taps Out” Toney.

  • @mcm
    Thanks for the kind words. I dont think jardine SHOULD be fighting for a belt either, but then again I didnt think that Rogers should’ve gotten Overeem, nor do I think Aoki should’ve got Melendez first time out.(only because of cage jitters and lack of building a story) but since when has SF been known for doing things that make sense. Cavalcante and Jardine just intrigues me as a match up due to Keith’s awkward style and Feijao’s incredible tenacity(those body shots from Mo looked like they hurt like hell). Hendo/Sobral does make the most sense, but the question wasn’t who’s the obvious choice it was who intrigues me the most and with Jardine as your favorite fighter you must admit he brings that element to the ring with him anywhere.

    On the Randy note that’s what makes this fight the absolute sh!t! We can all speculate with relative ease what is most likely to happen but this is one of those few fights where we just can’t know. Toney has been workin hard on stayin off his back no doubt, but can he combat 40 years of world class wrestling? Doubtful. Randy can throw hands well enough to give almost anyone fits(He got the better of hands than Vera did, though the kicks Brandon threw that night almost put Cpt America down) but can he go toe to toe with Toney, once again I highly doubt it. Would Toney gettin up from Randy’s takedowns or Randy puttin a well place shot to Toney’s jaw and gettin the TKO surprise the hell out of me? All day but i can see it happening as these are two elite athletes of the highest caliber and I doubt we’ll get to see a match like this happen again for years to come.

    WAR UFC118!

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Leben has never tasted power like Vitor’s. Leben offers aggressive, no defense striking and a solid chin. But a solid chin only gets weathered over time, and Leben has taken a lot more punishment in his career than Vitor. Plus Vitor was able to take a prime Chuck’s punches and do more than just survive. In the striking department Leben has nothing on Chuck Lidell and also the little fact that Leben was knocked silly by Anderson Silva punches and I know def. that Vitor has more pure power than Anderson. Also Leben’s ground game has been improving but Vitor is a BJJ black belt with solid wrestling and vicious GnP, I don’t really see Leben offering much on the ground to give Vitor trouble. But talk is talk lets wait till they announce Belfort’s opponent. Would be cool if they did a rematch b/w him and Wanderlai. Vitor knocked out Wandy 12 years ago. A lot has changed.

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    Couture will win in the first thirty seconds by telling Toney that bingo night was canceled and the geritol ran out, he he(because they are both comically old, get it?) Seriously, if it isn’t on the mat within 20 seconds, Dana will be the one having the heart attack. I have to imagine he made Randy watch the Silvia/Mercer “fight” like 300+ times, (taking a grand total of 45 min including rewinding) saying this is what can happen if you think your stand up is good enough to hang with him.
    Love the idea of Leben vs Vitor as it would be a good fight but if Leben wins, does he get to fight Silva again(or does he friggin’ WANT to after that mugging)? Just sayin’ but ya gotta like Leben, especially lately with the two fights in two weeks and the zombie stare as dudes fruitlessly hammer away on his big ass dome only to get KTFO out of nowhere.
    There is no way Edgar gets an immediate rematch if he loses even a close decision. Will he be high up on the list yeah but have they EVER put on the same matchup 3 times back to back? Hell Penn just got it because it was a decision and he had destroyed the rest of the division already with the exception of Maynard so it was an easier sell but we won’t see an immediate rematch regardless of the outcome. The winner of Maynard/Florian should absolutely get the shot with the losers fighting each other, then let it shake out from there.

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    Oh and that can’t be Lashley’s last fight. First of all he took the guy down at will and had position the whole fight including the mount which should have NEVER been stood up. When has anybody been stood up from a mount where they were going for punches, it’s not like he just sat there(and boo to the fans who were booing the side control position where Lashley was going for the mount but Griggs was defending it, you don’t know MMA). Granted, it was the first adversity Lashley had faced and he didn’t deal with it well but some good coaching and will can overcome that. It was the first real damage he had faced and it freaked him out a bit but he was still going for it, Griggs just stuffed his last takedown attempt and wailed on his head. A more experienced Lashley might learn to gut through that at the bell and get to his corner and compose himself. I think it is a bit premature to say he should quit fighting all together. Will he be champ someday, I don’t know about that but this talk of him not getting another fight is a bit over the top, it’s not like he went in there and got dominated and beat down by some toughman competitor.

  • Creature says:

    ok 1. idc about lashely i dont thin khe will ever be a big factor in MMA just a sideshow croud draw like kimbo, do i think hes gonna retire?? no. 2. im 99.9% positive bj and edgararent going 5 rounds again, im gonna go with bj getting his belt back via RNC rd 3. 3. i personally would like 2 see vitor fight okami, leben caled out wanderlie, wanderlie accepted, that fight should happen. 4. i agree with swing em and a few others when saying hendo would give cavalcante his biggest test, hendo has dominate wrestling and in my oppinion the best jaw in MMA, including a murderous right and and a devestation left. 5. yes i believe the winner of kenflo/maynard should get the title shot, they have both earned it, maynard may not have many finishes but hes still winning, and has underrated stand up, great takedowns and top conttrol, and good sub defense. and kenflo is 1 of the most well rounded LW in the sport. 6. i think randy will throw a few jabs, a kick or 2 maybe, then shoot 4 a takedown, complete it within the 1st 30 sec of the fight, and stop the fight via tko from gnp within the 1st 3 min of the fight :)

  • Dufresne says:

    1. Somewhere in the range of 20% to couldn’t-care-less. MMA has been around for long enough that everyone involved should know about this magical little thing called “cardio training.” If you don’t have that, I’m not overly interested. You don’t even have to be a physical specimen to achieve this, look at Roy Nelson.

    2. Depends on the adjustments both fighters have made. The last two times we saw BJ look slow and sluggish in route to a loss were against GSP and Hughes; and the following fights he came out looking intense and intent on destroying his opponents. Which he did. If that’s the BJ we get tomorrow, I can’t pick any LW in the world over him, but if we get slow, out-of-shape BJ I can see this going the distance with Edgar retaining the title.
    Because every time I give a fighter no chance to win, they do, I’m going with 65% chance BJ ends it early, 35% chance Edgar outpoints him.

    3. I was kinda hoping it would be Leben simply because I love watching both of them fight each other would have been ridiculous. But after thinking about it for a while and reading some others’ posts, I can definitely see why the UFC would put Belfort in with Okami instead. As it’s been pointed out already it’s clear that the UFC wants Belfort in the title picture, and Okami is the safer of the two fights that still keep Belfort looking like a legitimate contender.

    Both Leben and Okami are pretty well rounded, durable as hell, and has a solid enough record that a win over either makes for a good argument for a title shot. But probably the deciding factor in choosing between the two is the fact that Leben has a finish rate of over 75% in his wins while Okami is only sitting at 52%. Okami has proven that he can finish fights, he just rarely does against top competition.

    4. After watching his last fight against Jake O’Brien, I would love to see Mousasi in there. I think Cavalcante would have the advantage in power while Mousasi appears to me to have the advantage in striking technique and both prefer to stand and bang. But as has already been pointed out, the most likely fight is probably the winner of Henderson/Babalu

    5. I personally think Maynard should have gotten Edgar next instead of Penn seeing as how he has already beaten Edgar once, but considering how close the Penn/Edgar fight was, and how dominant BJ had been as a champ before that I can sorta justify why he didn’t. But to answer the question: Yes.
    On a side note: I have Maynard beating Florian tomorrow night.

    6. It better be as soon as he can get inside without eating one of those wrecking balls Toney calls “fists.” The good news is that Toney is known more for his power than for his footwork and if Toney steps into the Octagon with his regular standard boxing stance, sticking his left leg way out, Randy’s gonna snatch it off the ground and dump him on his head.

    Randy is a pretty smart fighter and he knows he needs to be careful on the way in, so I see Randy staying out of range for 30-60 seconds to get a handle on Toney’s movement and timing before shooting in and taking it to the ground. If Toney decides to bull-rush Randy, I see it taking all of 5-10 seconds for someone to end up on their back.

    I doubt Randy would want to even clinch with Toney because those tiny gloves combined with the power and accuracy Toney controls means he could slip a short hook or uppercut in and really mess up Randy’s after fight festivities.

    Hope Randy watched the fight between Toney and Charles Williams back in ’94. That’s the exact same kind of movement that cost him his second fight with Chuck.


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