It’s come, the light heavyweight title match we’ve been looking for. Not particularly these particular fighter, rather a fight we know will be exciting no matter what. I’m speaking of Mauricio “Shougun” Rua Vs. Jon “Bones” Jones. With Penn vs. Fitch leaving a bad taste in our mouths this may be just the match up to get fan as hyped as they were before. Of course there are many matches before the main event, I’ll shoot out some predictions, and we’ll see what happens on fight night.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic Vs. Brendan “The Hybrid” Shaub
For the passed two years people have been debating, “Is Cro Cop too old and past his prime?”. Coming off of a knockout loss to Frank Mir, it’s really hard to say. Mirko does seem to show up to recent matches a bit heavier than before, but let’s not forget he had a two fight winning streak coming into the Mir match. Although, that’s true fans are saying his previous opponents had easily exploitable weaknesses, ground game for Pat Barry, and a Doctor Stoppage victory over Anthony Perosh. No matter what people may say, Cro Cop has more victories than losses over the last two years.
As for Brendan Schaub critics are saying, “Is his record legit?”, pretty much meaning has he really even fought anyone worth while. I personally can only vouch for the strength of Gabriel Gonzaga who Schaub etched a Decision victory over. Also, he fought some tough guys on The Ultimate Fighter. Other than that I can’t really say he has really been tested considering his knock out loss to Roy Nelson at the finale was in the first round. This is the chance for “The Hybrid” to prove himself.
I personally think this is a pretty good match up, it a test to both Cro Cop and Schaub. That said, I don’t know if Schaub can make up the difference in experience with any of his particular skills. Yes Schaub has knock out power in his hands, but so does Cro Cop. I’m going to have to call this one in favor of Cro Cop by Knock out in the third round.
Yoshihiro Akiyama Vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt
(Middle Weight Bout)
This is an interesting match up against two great Mixed Martial Artists. Both are coming off of decision losses unfortunately.
Yoshihiro Akiyama the Japanese Judoka with a 13-3 overall record and a 1-2 UFC record is undeniably tough. We’re talking about a man who took several of Chris Leben’s punches and still pushed him forcing the crippler to edge out a rare submission victory. Akiyama also took several heavy shot from Bisbing after rocking him in the first round. Akiyama took a blow to the…lower regions, but still stood back up to finish the fight and lose by decision. For the his most recent bout against Micheal “The Count” Bisping, Akiyama trained at Greg Jackson Camp, which may have actually been more detrimental than rewarding. The Judo black belt didn’t attempt to use any throws or take downs at all, and simply tried to out box Bisping, with very little success. It makes you ask yourself, what exactly was Greg Jackson’s game plan for the match?
Nate Marquardt had been inching his way toward a second title shot until his loss to Yushin Okami. Nate has been dominating some top level middle weights, with an impressive TKO of Martin Kampmann, Wilson Gouveia, and a Knock out over Demian Maia. It seems whenever Nate has his second title shot in reach he drops the ball, who knows why. He seemed hesitant to throw punches in his fight with Okami, almost like he was sure he would win as long as he just didn’t get hit or something. He simply didn’t use his skill set like he could, but, that doesn’t deny the fact he has a great skill set.
This another fight that’s really hard to call, I feel if it stays on the feet Nate has the edge, but if Akiyama can utilize his Judo and gain a top position despite his strong wrestling back ground I believe Marquardt will be in trouble. I’m going to call this one in favor or Akiyama by decision.
UPDATE: Because of the earthquake that shook Japan Akiyama is forced to withdraw, sending Dan Miller up to the main card, so I will recall this as decision in favor of Marquardt.
Jim Miller Vs Kamal Shalorus
(Light Weight Bout)
This fight is a bit of a mystery for me, because I know much about Jim Miller, but besides his record, I know nothing of Kamal Shalorus. However, considering he is on the main card in his debut in the UFC he must be something special.
Jim Miller is a widely over looked light weight, he has a very solid JiuJitsu ground game and fair stand up. This guys has got himself quite winning streak going at six, and the best part, isn’t a streak of nobodies. Jim Miller has been going out and putting in major work knocking off some noticeable fighters like, Mac Danzig, Mark Bocek, and his most recent submission victory over undefeated Charles Oliveira. Now consider all that and Jim Miller is STILL considered the underdog in almost every fight he goes into. I mean how can you overlook this guy while is he sporting a 19-2 record with a six fight win streak in the UFC? I really don’t know, but I’m excited to see him go out there and once again take care of business.
Once again I know nothing about Kamal Shalorus besides his records, somehow he dropped under my radar. It does seem however from his record Kamal is carrying some heavy hands with most of his victories by TKO.
Due to lack of information I can’t accurate make a decision, so I have to go with what I know, Jim Miller by submission in the second round.
Urijah Faber Vs Eddie Wineland
(Bantam Weight Bout)
Not a more suitable co-main event for this particular UFC could have been chosen in my personal opinion. The debut of former WEC Feather Weight Champion Urijah Faber Vs. Former WEC Bantam Weight Champion Eddie Wineland. Prepare for the sparks to fly, it’s a guaranteed great match.
Urijah Faber “The California Kid”, Is definitely one of the greatest Mixed Martial Artists of our time, how Faber isn’t in the top ten pound for pound is beyond me. Faber is a very well rounded fighter with great striking, solid wrestling, and tremendous heart. With an impressive record of 24-4 there is no doubt, he is nothing less then dominant. Faber has one punch knock out power in his hands and a submission game to make a Jiujitsu practitioners pay attention. He has the longest amount of title defenses in WEC history, and to top it all off, he’s a good looking kid. If Urijah Faber isn’t the total package, I don’t know what is.
Eddie Wineland on the other hand is a vicious knock out artist. With nine knockout in his 18-6 record he is a force to be reckoned with. Wineland has very quick hand speed and power behind every punch, he is always the aggressor putting mountains of pressure on his opponents, and landing precise knockout punches. Not to mention he has a good wrestling base.
This one for me is a not very difficult, because it seems like Wineland’s Achilles heel is getting caught in submissions, and Faber’s submission game is very good. Not only that, but although Eddie Winelands hands are heavy, Faber’s are much faster and his unorthodox style tend to throw most fighter out of their comfort zone. I don’t think Wineland can handle a fighter with as many tools as Faber. I’m going to go ahead and say Faber by submission(Rear Naked Choke) in the second round.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua Vs. Jon “Bones” Jones
(Light Heavyweight Championship Bout)
The fight we’ve been looking forward to since it official announcement. The fight that can knock the bad taste of bad judging and horrible fights out of our mouths at full force. A legend vs. our ages rising star. I can’t see this fight ending in anything besides knock out or submission. Jon Jones is attempting to follow in Shogun’s footsteps by winning a belt at the age of twenty-three years old, yet Shogun himself says, “I’m not going to let him become a champion at twenty-three”.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has been dominating the game since he appeared on the scene at the young age of twenty. This man has a record of 19-4 with sixteen knockouts, he wont the Pride Grand Prix at Twenty-three years old. He’s been knocking people out left and right since his first bout and hasn’t stopped since. He’s knocked out the biggest names in MMA, including Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell, Mark “The Hammer” Coleman and of course Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. He’s is virtually unstoppable with explosive power, strong Brazilian Jiujitsu, and outstanding Muay Thai. He’s nearly unstoppable, so who you ask can possibly challenge this man?
Jon “Bones” Jones is the number one rising star in MMA today. He’s wild, unpredictable,flashy,yet surprisingly humble. At twenty-three years old Jones has been knocking off some big named fighters like, Ryan Bader, Stephan Bonnar, Brandon Vera, and Vladimir Matyushenko. Although his record is 13-1 he’s never truly been defeated, he was disqualified for illegal elbow strike in a bout with Matt Hamil. If anyone can give shogun a run for his money, this young superstar is the one to do it.
With all that said, I honestly want to side with Jon Jones, but I think Shogun is going over power Jones, and Jones who is usually the aggressor won’t know how to deal with it, will be stuck with it will make a mistake and be caught with either a head kick or a hook. I’m going to say Shogun by knockout in the third round.