Thursday, November 16, 2006

UFC 65...The Best One Yet?

I have never been so up for a UFC in a long time. Though some had a couple fights that got me interested, this is the first where I can envision 2 changes of the guard, and then a step up for the next heavyweight contender..."The Truth."

Hughes has been interesting to watch. Every time you think he is beat, he finds a way to win. It is a New England Patriot type spirit that possesses him in the ring. It is something every champ needs, and something to be admired. THAT aspect, however, is all I admire about Hughes. Matt Hughes was clearly getting dominated on his feet in the first 2 rounds. Better said, he was getting his a*! whooped! Finally he was able to get BJ Penn down to the ground, where he was again dominated and showed his weakness in avoiding submissions. Matt hughes does not have the talent to stay out of trouble with submissions. The mistake GSP made in the first fight, being over aggressive, is the mistake Matt makes almost every time. He rushes into a takedown, wrestler style, leaves himself open for the submission, but wills himself through the mistake and powers out. With the new GSP, I do not see this happening again.

George St. Pierre is a new fighter. If he takes his time, he will beat Hughes. He is better on his feet (and Hughes insists on boxing lately) and on the ground, he has the better chance at a submission victory than Hughes. I believe Hughes will finally face someone with the stamina and the strength to finally not allow Hughes to dominate. Whether it ends in round 1, or round 5, I believe GSP will win.

Silvia vs. Monson is not as interesting. Silvia gets props for fighting dumb fighters who play his game. The last title fight was all about Arlovski proving he had a chin, not about Arlovski wanting to win the belt. I hope Monson is not that type of fighter. This is the first world class grappler Silvia has faced since losing to Mir. I believe a similar outcome is imminent. Silvia is too lengthy without the power needed to avoid submissions. If Monson can take him down (avoiding any Babalu type stupid striking) then this fight will be extremely quick. Finaly there will be someone on top of the heavyweight division to actually challenge Mir or Vera.

Which brings me to why it will be Vera! He is a world class kickboxer and grappler. People don't understand how good he really is. As far as kickboxing, he has more than proved his worth. In grappling, he faced a strong Brazillian grappler (twice) and both were neutralized by Vera. He actually submitted Silva via. guilotine choke. I am not disrespecting Mir, Frank has the best ground game the heavyweight division has ever seen, the only question is; which Mir will we see? His last fight had him in the ring extremely out of shape. He was not ready either physically or mentally. If he does this again, he will get knocked out. The other aspect to this fight is that Vera is no ground rookie. The way Lloyd Irvin schools teach defense, is spectacular. When on the ground against Mir (which is a great possibility, watch how Vera rolls up and puts his face on the side of Mir. He places himself in such a ball, that Mir cannot strike, or find any extremity to try to lock up. I have grappled Lloyd Irvin students, and they are very good at this defense. Vera is world class at it.

This matchup is great because it will show us who is next to face the heavyweight champ. If it is Monson, the heavyweight division may not see a pure striker as it's belt holder for a long time.

Oh yea, the Joe Stevenson and Nick Diaz fights might be good as well. But honestly, these other 3 are all I care about.

BTW: Diego Sanchez (my favorite at 170) better get the next damn title shot after GSP. This fight against Riggs is bogus. Riggs has done nothing to show he is in Sanchez' class. After the demolition of Parysian, Sanchez should have been on tap for Hughes. The politics of the UFC are starting to suck. TUF 4 did nothing but get in the way.

Props to Anderson Silva for doing what I said he would (and better than I thought he would do it), and to thumbs down to Serra, he will go nowhere in the big time no matter who he faces in February.



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