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UFC On FOX 7 Predictions and Analysis

April 19, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The UFC delivered an exciting finale, to one of the most exciting seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in recent memory last weekend. They’re not giving that event much time to simmer in our memories, as they move forward with another free event, this time on network television as the 7th UFC on Fox event goes off this weekend. The UFC returns to California, more specifically to San Jose, California, the home base of their former sister promotion Strikeforce.

It’s fitting that the UFC is hosting this event in San Jose and at the HP Pavilion the home of a number of Strikeforce shows in the past, since this card features a number of fighters that were prominent in Strikeforce’s success. In main card action former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson battles former Lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz. Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner and emerging star Daniel Cormier battles former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir in the co-main event. And in the main event of the evening UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson makes yet another appearance on the Fox Network as he battles the final Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez in a battle of two champions.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Middleweight Bout: Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero

Clifford Starks is a 31-year-old fighter from Pomona, California. Starks is a member of the Arizona Combat Sports Gym training in Tempe, Arizona. Starks is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Arizona State University. He holds a professional MMA record of 8-1. Yoel “Soldado de Dios” Romero is a 35-year-old fighter from Pinar del Rio, Cuba. He is a former member of the Cuban Olympic wrestling team. He now trains with the Kampfsport Althof Gym in Palmdale, California. He holds a professional MMA record of 4-1.

Quick Pick: Yoel Romero via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Lightweight Bout: Anthony Njokuani vs. Roger Bowling

Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani is a 33-year-oldfighter from Lagos, Nigeria. Njokuani is a talented striker who is a member of the Janjira Muay Thai Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada. Njokuani holds a professional MMA record of 15-7 with 1 No Contest. Roger “Relentless” Bowling is a 30-year-old fighter from Neville, Ohio. Bowling is making his UFC debut after his Strikeforce career. Bowling is a member of Team Vision training out of Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds a professional record of 11-3.

Quick Pick: Anthony Njokuani via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Bantamweight Bout: TJ Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana

TJ “The Viper” Dillashaw is a 27-year-old fighter from Sonora, California. Dillashaw is a former cast member of The Ultimate Fighter and is also a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Cal State Fullerton. Dillashaw trains with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. He holds a career record of 7-1. Hugo “Wolverine” Viana is a 30-year-old Brazilian fighter from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Viana is a member of the Champion Fight Team in his hometown. Viana is a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He holds a perfect professional record of 7-0.

Quick Pick: TJ Dillashaw via Submission in Round Two

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Tim Means vs. Jorge Masvidal

Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means is a 29-year-old fighter from Wilburton, Oklahoma. Means is a former King of the Cage Lightweight Champion. Means is a member of the Power MMA Gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He holds a professional record of 18-3-1. Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal is a 28-year-old fighter from Miami, Florida. Masvidal is a member of the American Top Team training out of Miami. He is a former professional boxer, who will be making his UFC debut in this fight. He holds a professional record of 23-7.

Quick Pick: Tim Means via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Flyweight Bout: Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama

Joseph “Beefcake” Benavidez is a 28-year-old fighter from San Antonio, Texas. Benavidez was a State Wrestling Champion during his high-school wrestling career. Benavidez is a member of the Team Alpha Male Gym training in Sacramento, California. He holds a professional record of 17-3 with the losses coming against only current UFC Champions Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson. Darren “BC” Uyenoyama is a 33-year-old fighter from San Francisco, California. Uyenoyama has fought for a number of major MMA promotions including Strikeforce, Dream, Shooto and DEEP. He holds a professional MMA record of 8-3.

Quick Pick: Joseph Benavidez via TKO in Round One

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Ramsey Nijem vs. Myles Jury

Ramsey Nijem is a 25-year-old fighter from Concord, California. He is a former cast member of The Ultimate Fighter, where he made it to the finals of the show’s tournament. Nijem is a member of the Pit Elevated Gym, training in Orem, Utah with the likes of Court McGee and Steven Siler. Nijem holds a professional record of 7-2. Myles “The Fury” Jury is a 24-year-old fighter from Hazel Park, Michigan. Jury is a member of the Alliance MMA Gym in San Diego, California. Jury is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who holds a perfect professional record of 11-0.

Quick Pick: Myles Jury via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Middleweight Bout: Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin

Francis “Limitless” Carmont is a 31-year-old fighter from Sant-Tropez, France. Carmont is now a member of the Tristar Gym training out of Montreal, Quebec alongside fighters like Georges St. Pierre and Rory MacDonald. Carmont holds a professional MMA record of 20-7. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin is a 26-year-old fighter from Riverside, California. Larkin is a member of his own gym Team Monsoon in his hometown of Riverside. Larkin will be making his UFC debut after spending his recent career in Strikeforce. He holds a career record of 13-0 with 1 No Contest.

Quick Pick: Lorenz Larkin via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Featherweight Bout: Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins

Chad “Money” Mendes is a 27-year-old fighter from Hanford, California. Mendes is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from California Polytechnic State University. Mendes is a member of Team Alpha Male and is one of the top ranked Featherweight fighters in the UFC. He holds a professional record of 13-1, with the lone loss coming to UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. Darren “The Damage” Elkins is a 28-year-old fighter from Hobart, Indiana. Elkins is a member of the Duneland Vale Tudo Gym in his hometown of Hobart. Elkins is taking this bout as a late injury replacement for Clay Guida. Elkins holds a professional MMA record of 16-2.

Quick Pick: Chad Mendes via TKO in Round Two

Main Card (Fox): Welterweight Bout: Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein

Matt “The Immortal” Brown is a 32-year-old fighter from Xenia, Ohio. Brown was a cast member of the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter. Brown is a member of Jorge Gurgel’s Gym in Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds a brown belt in Judo and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Brown is known for his fan friendly style and his iron chin, having never been stopped via strikes in nearly 30 career bouts. He holds a professional MMA record of 16-11, but is currently on a bit of a career resurgence having won his last 4 bouts, 3 via stoppage.
Jordan “Young Gun” Mein is a 23-year-old Canadian fighter from Lethbridge, Alberta. Despite being only 23-years-old he has already accumulated 35 professional MMA bouts. Mein is a talented striker with amateur kickboxing experience, beginning his training very early in his childhood. Mein is taking this bout as an injury replacement for Dan Hardy, and recently made his UFC debut with an impressive first round stoppage of Dan Miller. Mein trains at the Canadian Martial Arts Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta. He holds a professional MMA record of 27-8.

Analysis and Prediction: Brown is a grinder with an iron chin, so he’s definitely not going to be overly scared of Mein’s striking credentials. We all saw what Brown did to heavily hyped striking prospect Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, as he basically put on a clinic on how to impose your will on a striker. That said, Mein is a far more talented mixed martial artist than Thompson. Although young he has been in the fight game for a long time, has a lot of cage experience and knows a lot of tricks. I expect Mein to come in with an intelligent game plan, he’ll use his strikes to work on a trip or a takedown from the clinch. From there his grappling is strong enough to control Brown or search for a submission in the scramble. Brown has the ability to make this fight interesting, but I think Mein is too talented as an all-around fighter. Jordan Mein via Submission in Round Two

Main Card (Fox): Lightweight Bout: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson

Nate Diaz is a 27-year-old fighter from Stockton, California. He is best known as a competitor and the eventual winner of the 5th season of The Ultimate Fighter. This will be Diaz’s first bout since losing his shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship against Benson Henderson. Diaz is a talented boxer, who employs a high-volume based boxing approach. Diaz is also a talented grappler with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Diaz trains with the Cesar Gracie Fight Team in Stockton, California, but has also been splitting his time with the Team Alpha Male Gym in Sacramento, California. He holds a professional MMA record of 16-8.

Josh “The Punk” Thomson is a 34-year-old fighter from San Jose, California. Thomson is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Thomson has fought for a number of major MMA promotions throughout his career, including a previous stint in the UFC, Pride FC in Japan and most recently Strikeforce. Thomson is a former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion who trains with the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose. Thomson holds a professional MMA record of 19-5 with 1 No Contest.

Analysis and Prediction: Diaz should be well prepared for this fight, he is a training partner with Gilbert Melendez and Gilbert has spent 75 minutes in the cage with Thomson. The question will likely come down to Thomson and his well being entering the fight. He has had nagging injuries for the past few years of his career and they have often hindered his ability to compete. If he follows a smart, wrestling based game plan he has the ability to stifle Diaz. That said, if he tries to strike with Diaz, he’s probably going to get overwhelmed on the feet by Diaz’s high-volume, high-octane striking. In the end I’ll take a slight upset and think Thomson can pull it off, but it’ll be close. Josh Thomson via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Fox): Heavyweight Bout: Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier

Frank Mir is a 33-year-old fighter from Las Vegas, Nevada. Mir is a former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion. Mir holds a black belt in Kenpo Karate and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Mir is one of the most talented grapplers in the Heavyweight division and has won 9 bouts via Submission. Mir is a member of Greg Jackson’s camp training in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mir holds a professional MMA record of 16-6, including being the only man to hold a submission victory over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Daniel “DC” Cormier is a 34-year-old fighter from Lafayette, Louisiana. Cormier is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler who wrestled at Oklahoma State University. Cormier is best known as the winner of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, after entering the event as a tournament alternate. Cormier is also a former member of the United States Freestyle Wrestling team. Cormier’s striking has been rapidly improving to compliment his wrestling ability. Cormier trains with the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California where he is a regular training partner of UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. Cormier has a perfect professional record of 11-0.

Analysis and Prediction: Frank Mir made the move to Greg Jackson’s camp for this fight and he said it has changed him as a fighter. Unfortunately, we’ve heard those words come from Mir a number of times, and it usually doesn’t end well for him. He’s one of the most talented grapplers in the Heavyweight division, but against Cormier, I don’t like the match up. Cormier is a technically sound striker with solid hand speed for a Heavyweight, he also moves well for a big man. Add to that Cormier’s rock-solid wrestling base and you know the fight isn’t hitting the ground unless Cormier wants it to. Cormier batters Mir on the feet and eventually pounds him out on the ground as Mir fades in the third. Daniel Cormier via TKO in Round Three

Main Card (Fox): UFC Lightweight Championship Bout: Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez

Benson “Smooth” Henderson is a 29-year-old fighter from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Henderson is the reigning and defending UFC Lightweight Champion. Henderson is a former NAIA All-American Wrestler from Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. Henderson is now a member of the MMA Lab training in Glendale, Arizona. Henderson has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Henderson is also a former WEC Lightweight Champion. Like many collegiate wrestlers, Henderson has been improving his striking during his MMA training and is a formidable kick boxer. He holds a career record of 18-2.

Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez is a 31-year-old fighter from Santa Ana, California. Melendez was the final Strikeforce Lightweight Champion. Melendez is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who trains with the Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team in California. Melendez has fought for a number of major MMA promotions across the world including WEC, Rumble on the Rock, Shooto, Pride and Strikeforce. Melendez is a talented wrestler who uses top control and ground and pound to wear out his opponents and open them up for submission opportunities. Melendez holds a professional MMA record of 21-2 but has avenged both of his career losses.

Analysis and Prediction: I like Melendez a lot, but he’s had a long layoff, having not fought in nearly a year. Injuries and backstage drama with Strikeforce have kept him out of the cage since a less than impressive showing against Josh Thomson. After that fight Melendez said he found it hard to get motivated for a third fight with Thomson, but that sounds like a weak excuse for coming into a title fight against a dangerous opponent unprepared. Henderson on the other hand is coming off of a dominant performance against Melendez’s teammate Nate Diaz.

Melendez can definitely learn a few things from watching Diaz’s fight against Henderson, unfortunately he and Nate are fairly different fighters. I would expect to see a somewhat familiar game plan from the champion. I’d expect to see a heavy dose of thudding leg kicks from both the orthodox and southpaw stances, which should significantly slow down the shots of Melendez. Henderson is a technically sound striker and his stellar jab should be able to fend off the awkward striking advances of Melendez.
On the ground it’s likely a wash, with both men being excellent grapplers. However, the key will be which fighter is in top control and for that I give the edge to the champion, Henderson, who I believe has a more refined wrestling base than Melendez. In the end, top control and a solid jab carry the day for Henderson who I expect to retain the title via decision. Benson Henderson via Unanimous Decision

Georges St-Pierre: The Way of the Fight Book

Anderson Silva: Like Water

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UFC 155 Dos Santos Vs. Velasquez Results and Wrap Up

December 30, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The UFC made its return to the land of Pay Per View last night and although some fights left fans wanting a bit more, the other bouts were loaded with action that more than made up for it. If you were unable to see some of the undercard bouts, I highly suggest you try to do so by any means possible. Melvin Guillard versus Jamie Varner, while slightly slower than expected was an entertaining bout. As well the Featherweight tilt between Leonard Garcia and Max Holloway was a highly entertaining slugfest that went for a full fifteen minutes. Add in impressive TKO victories for Heavyweight Todd Duffee and Bantamweight Erik Perez and there is some top shelf violence for those of you that like it that way.

Moving on to the main card, some of the bouts didn’t quite live up to the hype. Others such as the co-main event between Lightweights Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller more than exceeded the hype, as those two men engaged in a bloody back and forth brawl that is a definite contender for Fight of the Year consideration. The Main Event was also solid as two of the best Heavyweights in the world collided in a much better effort than their first bout on UFC on FOX 1. Let’s take a look at the winners and losers from this card and take a look at what could be next for them.

Derek Brunson defeated Chris Leben via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

The boo-birds were out right away at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for this Middleweight fight that kicked off the PPV. Although Leben is often a fan-favorite due to his slugging style, his wrestling-based opponent Brunson wanted no part of it. Brunson crowded Leben throughout the contest using clinches and takedowns to control Leben and give him very little space to get his offense going. Leben himself offered little resistance, as after a year off due to suspension, he looked like a man who wasn’t used to being in the Octagon. He looked tired and slow, and his takedown defense was almost non-existent. He was never really in too much trouble, but he definitely wasn’t ever close to winning either. Unfortunately as commentator Joe Rogan stated, the unamused look on Chris Leben’s face after Brunson’s celebration after the fight might have been the most entertaining part of the bout.

What’s next for Brunson? This card was loaded with Middleweight talent, so one might think a winner from one of the Middleweight bouts up the card would make sense for Brunson, but I think that’s too large a step for him right now. Although he earned a victory, he didn’t look great doing it and it definitely wasn’t a breakout performance. With Strikeforce officially closing its doors, I think the best fight for him would be to welcome one of his former promotion-mates to the UFC. Tim Kennedy is facing Trevor Smith at the final Strikeforce event and the winner of that bout makes some sense.

What’s next for Leben? He’s got problems, everyone knows that, but he’s always going to have a spot in the UFC because of his style. Alan Belcher got knocked off by Yushin Okami later in the card, and would prefer an opponent who would keep the fight standing. Leben fits that bill and would likely produce an entertaining rebound fight for one of the two. Belcher is almost the perfect opponent for him right now.

Yushin Okami defeated Alan Belcher via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

In the pre-fight hype videos Alan Belcher claimed that Yushin Okami couldn’t beat him if he kept the fight standing. Apparently he convinced everyone, including Okami, of that fact. Okami did what he usually does, a solid one-two jab combination right into takedown attempts and top control. Belcher had a few bright spots, as he snagged a couple of submission attempts, but none were ever close and they all ended with him in the unenviable position of being beneath Okami. In the end the Japanese fighter cruised to a Unanimous Decision.

What’s next for Okami? He’s turning into the Middleweight version of Jon Fitch. He’s good enough to beat almost anyone in the division, but he’s going to get absolutely slaughtered against the champion. Add to that he’s got a somewhat boring wrestling based approach to fighting and it’s hard to keep giving him meaningful fights where he’s likely going to knock off top contenders or up-and-comers with little fanfare. Still he moves up the ladder and a bout against other main card victor Costa Philippou might make sense. The other potential bout is one against Hector Lombard who recently scored an impressive stoppage against Rousimar Palhares.

What’s next for Belcher? Belcher’s hot streak got seriously derailed and he’s going to need to prove he can handle a wrestler like Okami before he ever gets a shot at a serious top contender at Middleweight. Still, he’s going to need a rebound fight and like I said, previous main card loser Chris Leben is the perfect foil for him. Someone who is willing to stand and trade with him and who is weak on the ground if things go bad. If the UFC wants to rebuild Belcher, he’ll get Leben next.

Costa Philippou defeated Tim Boetsch via TKO (Punches) at 2:11 of the Third Round

This wasn’t a breakout performance for Philippou that many people thought it might be. In fact, this was a truly bizarre fight. Boetsch controlled the opening round, throwing wild, looping punches that were scoring against the usually competent striking defenses of Philippou. In between rounds Boetsch complained to his corner of a broken hand and in the second, an accidental head butt opened a massive gash on his forehead and an eye poke only increased his vision problems. In the third round, he was reduced to pulling guard, but didn’t have an answer for Philippou’s ground and pound, as the referee stepped in to save Boetsch in the third round after he seemed to be looking for a way out.

What’s next for Philippou? Considering the bizarre circumstances of his win, his slow start, and the less than impressive fight from him overall, I wouldn’t complain about a possible rematch between these two. However, with Boetsch’s broken hand, he’s going to need time off. Philippou should still receive a step up in competition and needs to prove he can handle a talented wrestler, which is why I think a bout against other main card victor Yushin Okami makes a lot of sense. If they choose to go another route, former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, should be making the leap to the UFC soon enough. If he wins his bout at the final Strikeforce show against Ed Herman, I think Souza is another good fight for Philippou.

What’s next for Boetsch? Hand surgery, I guess. In all honesty, this is kind of a crappy result for Boetsch, since he took some unfortunate illegal shots to derail his game plan, which was definitely working in the first round. Still, he was undefeated in the Middleweight division until last night, so I doubt they give up hope on him yet. He’s not going to drop severely down the rankings with the circumstances surrounding the loss, so he’s in kind of a weird spot matchmaking wise. I really don’t know what they do with him here, I guess he’s going to take a step down. Karlos Vemola was supposed to fight Leben on the card, but pulled out due to injury maybe him. That or throw him against Belcher or Leben, although I think Leben is too far a step down, and I think those two should fight each other. Other than that maybe Jake Shields if he stays at Middleweight.

Jim Miller defeated Joe Lauzon via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

This one earned Fight of the Night honors and it definitely deserved it. These two guys engaged in a bloody brawl that was back and forth and had action until the final bell. Miller looked the best I’ve ever seen him and his recent loss to Nate Diaz seems to have lit a fire inside him. He may be a permanent gatekeeper in the ultra-packed Lightweight division, but he’s a tough one. His conditioning was top notch for this bout and his dirty boxing looked better than ever, as he used a tight clinch to deliver some big punches and short elbows in the first round that caused the giant gash that caused Lauzon to lose a ton of blood. To his credit Lauzon proved how tough he was in this bout, even with blood pouring out of that massive cut, he refused to let the doctor stop it and he kept coming until the final bell, sinking in a late leg lock that nearly stole the fight and in fact stole him the round on a couple of scorecards.

What’s next for Miller? He’s had fourteen fights in the UFC and he’s won most of them. His only three losses have come to the current Lightweight Champion and two of the last three Number One Contenders in Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard. He’s a true grinder and his improving striking is only going to make him an even tougher challenge for most guys. I think Rafael dos Anjos has been impressive lately and deserves a step up in competition, as the Lightweight Gatekeeper, that puts him right in Miller’s wheelhouse.

What’s next for Lauzon? He proved he’s as tough as they come and dangerous any time he’s still in the fight. He’s always going to struggle against powerful wrestlers and the elite fighters of the Lightweight division, but he’s a highly entertaining fighter with decent striking and dangerous submissions. Sounds like another top Lightweight that recently lost a title fight. Indeed a bout between Lauzon and fellow TUF 5 alumnus Nate Diaz could be an action packed affair. Give the two of them a headlining slot on an FX or Fuel TV card and give them five rounds to go bananas, fireworks are sure to follow whether that fight takes place on the feet, on the ground or anywhere in the building.

Cain Velasquez defeated Junior dos Santos to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship via Unanimous Decision after Five Rounds

For those that wrote off former champion Velasquez after his poor performance in their first bout, they were treated to a significant wake up call. Velasquez came out guns blazing against Dos Santos and immediately brought the fight to the Brazilian Champion. Although many expected Cain to be somewhat laid back like he was in their first bout, he caught everyone, including Dos Santos off-guard when he came right after him in the first round. That first round told the story of what would end up being a very one-sided contest. Cain scored an early takedown and Dos Santos was able to slip through and get back to his feet, but it didn’t slow Velasquez down. He continued forward, pressing him against the cage. Partway through the round he landed a big right hand that dropped Dos Santos for the first time in his UFC career and ended the round battering him with ground and pound. Dos Santos was clearly gassed after the first round and spent several of the next rounds trying to recover, while Velasquez continued to push the pace. Although he eventually slowed himself, he was still able to outwork Dos Santos both in the grappling department and somewhat surprisingly in the striking department en-route to a clean sweep of the scorecards, winning with scores of 50-45, 50-44 and 50-43.

What’s next for Velasquez? The Heavyweight division has a whole lot of top fighters, but they are in a weird position, where they don’t have any clear cut favorites to become the number one contender. Alistair Overeem is expected to get the first crack at Velasquez, but he’s going to need to get by Antonio Silva first, and that’s no guarantee considering what we’ve seen in the past from fighters returning from year-long suspensions. The other option is Fabricio Werdum should he emerge victorious against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, but that fight isn’t taking place until after the filming and airing of TUF: Brazil 2. The leading candidate was Daniel Cormier who recently won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and is heading to the UFC, but Velasquez and Cormier are teammates and have already said they wouldn’t fight each other. No matter what happens, Overeem or Werdum or someone else entirely, Velasquez could be facing a bit of a layoff while the division sorts itself out.

What’s next for Dos Santos? He’s going to need to get a win or two before he gets another crack at the title. Granted if things shake out the right way, he may only need one impressive victory like Velasquez did, but the list of contenders is long and growing in the Heavyweight division. The best two possible matches I can think of for Dos Santos are the loser of the upcoming Mark Hunt and Stefan Struve fight at the UFC’s next London event, (provided it’s Hunt, since a rematch with Struve is probably not necessary for Dos Santos.) The other option is the loser of the upcoming Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva bout, since either one of those two would be an intriguing bout, especially with the bad blood between Dos Santos and Overeem.

Full UFC 155 results & winners…
Cain Velasquez defeated Junior Dos Santos via unanimous decision to regain the UFC heavyweight title
Jim Miller defeated Joe Lauzon via unanimous decision
Costa Philippoud efeated Tim Boetsch via third-round TKO
Yushin Okami defeated Alan Belcher via unanimous decision
Derek Brunson defeated Chris Leben via unanimous decision
Eddie Wineland defeated Brad Pickett via split decision
Erik Perez defeated Byron Bloodworth via first-round TKO
Jamie Varner defeated Melvin Guillard via split decision
Myles Jury defeated Michael Johnson via unanimous decision
Todd Duffeed efeated Phil De Fries via first-round TKO
Max Holloway defeated Leonard Garcia via split decision
John Moraga defeated Chris Cariaso via submission

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 155 Results: Cain Velasquez Regains UFC Title

December 30, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Cain Velasquez is an animal! Velasquez mauled Junior Dos Santos in their UFC 155 rematch proving to the MMA world that his 64 second loss to the JDS was a fluke. Velasquez won a unanimous decision to regain the UFC heavyweight title in one of the most one-sided UFC title wins in years.

Dos Santos could not stop the shot. Velasquez dominated the former champion on their feet and taking him to the ground. Velasquez had his way with Dos Santos at UFC 155, absorbing very little to punishment at all from the champion. UFC commentator Jor Rogan proclaimed at one point that he had not seen such a dominant performance by a challenger over a champion since Anderson Silva defeated Rich Franklin for the middleweight title several years ago.

Velasquez opened up looking to strike and takedown the former champion. Dos Santos did a good job early on of avoiding any serious damage until Velasquez connected with a right hand. Dos Santos was never the same after eating the shot. Velasquez swarmed in and tried to end the fight in the first round to no avail yet the tone was set by the challenger.

The rest of the fight saw Velasquez have his way with Dos Santos. Velasquez practically took Dos Santos down at will. Junior had very little offense throughout the fight and looked tired and beaten when he came out for the second round. Velasquez never stopped and was relentless in his attacks. I’ll give Dos Santos credit as he hung around for five rounds, longer than I thought he would. Dos Santos did connect on a nice uppercut as the third round. Unfortunately Dos Santos had nothing left and couldn’t follow up.

Velasquez nailed a body shot followed by an uppercut in the fourth round that staggered Dos Santos. Somehow or another Junior held on. Junior again put something together towards the end of the fourth round but couldn’t follow up. Velasquez’s cardiovascular conditioning throughout the fight was just unbelievable.

Seeing Junior standing at the start of round five after being brutalized throughout by Cain was real impressive. Junior stopped Cain from getting a takedown and wound up hitting a nice left to Cain’s body. Junior seemed to recover well by this point. Dos Santos hit a right hand and kept Cain’s takedowns at bay. Velasquez finally got the takedown at about 2:30. Cain smothered him with ground and pound. Junior got back up. Junior connected in a clinch. Velasquez hit a head kick with about :30 seconds to go. Junior looked like he had been brutalized while Cain looked like he wasn’t even scratched as the fifth and final round closed. Velasquez was shortly named new UFC champion by unanimous decision.

What’s next for the UFC world champion? In my opinion I think Cain is the most well rounded UFC heavyweight champion in history. He should have a dominant reign as champion barring an injury. He could face either Alistair Overeem or Fabricio Werdum if either man wins their next fight. Overeem would be the favorite but Dana White mentioned that Werdum would be a top contender if he wins his next fight against Big Nog.

I’d love to see a third fight between JDS and Velasquez. I think this rivalry has the potential to be one of the greatest trilogies of all time. It wouldn’t shock me to see fight number three in the fall or winter of 2013.

Look for a full recap and analysis of UFC 155 here on the Camel Clutch Blog shortly by Lee McGregor.

Full UFC 155 results & winners…
Cain Velasquez defeated Junior Dos Santos via unanimous decision to regain the UFC heavyweight title
Jim Miller defeated Joe Lauzon via unanimous decision
Costa Philippoud efeated Tim Boetsch via third-round TKO
Yushin Okami defeated Alan Belcher via unanimous decision
Derek Brunson defeated Chris Leben via unanimous decision
Eddie Wineland defeated Brad Pickett via split decision
Erik Perez defeated Byron Bloodworth via first-round TKO
Jamie Varner defeated Melvin Guillard via split decision
Myles Jury defeated Michael Johnson via unanimous decision
Todd Duffeed efeated Phil De Fries via first-round TKO
Max Holloway defeated Leonard Garcia via split decision
John Moraga defeated Chris Cariaso via submission

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 155 Dos Santos Vs. Velasquez 2 Predictions & Analysis

December 29, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The UFC returns to the land of Pay Per View this weekend with their traditional New Year’s Eve card. Despite not technically taking place on New Year’s Eve, the UFC has more than made up for it by packing this card with talent and intriguing match-ups from top to bottom. Headlining the card is a rematch that everyone has been clamoring for since their first meeting as the headliner for the UFC’s first event on the Fox Network as UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos battles the man he defeated for the title Cain Velasquez.

The co-main event of the evening features a Lightweight tilt that will move the winner significantly up the ladder in terms of placement in what is arguably the UFC’s deepest division as Joe Lauzon battles Jim Miller. Three Middleweight bouts are on the docket for the rest of the main card and many of them feature top ranked contenders. First up are Middleweight brawlers Tim Boetsch taking on Constantinos Philippou. The next Middleweight contest features former number one contender Yushin Okami taking on emerging contender Alan Belcher. The opening contest of the Pay Per View Main Card features fan and Dana White favourite Chris Leben taking on Strikeforce import Derek Brunson.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Flyweight Bout: Chris Cariaso vs. John Moraga

Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso is a 31-year-old fighter from Oakland, California. He is a member of the Fight and Fitness Gym in San Francisco, California. Cariaso holds a career record of 14-3 and recently won his UFC Flyweight debut at UFC on Fuel TV 4. John Moraga is a 28-year-old former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Phoenix, Arizona. He is a member of the MMA Lab in Arizona where he trains with UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. He holds a career record of 12-1.

Quick Pick: John Moraga via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Featherweight Bout: Leonard Garcia vs. Max Holloway

Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia is a 33-year-old fighter from Plainview, Texas. He is a member of Greg Jackson’s Team training in New Mexico. The brawler and fan favourite holds a career record of 15-9, but has never been knocked out and hasn’t been in a boring fight throughout the course of his career. Max “Blessed” Holloway is a 21-year-old fighter from Waanae, Hawaii and is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster. He is a member of the Gracie Technics Gym in his hometown and holds a career record of 6-1.

Quick Pick: Max Holloway via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Heavyweight Bout: Phil De Fries vs. Todd Duffee

Phil De Fries is a 26-year-old fighter from Sunderland, England. The massive Brit is a talented grappler who now trains in the USA with the Alliance MMA Gym in Chula Vista, California. He holds a career record of 9-1 with 1 No Contest. Todd Duffee is a 27-year-old fighter from Evansville, Indiana. Duffee is a member of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California and those striking skills have earned him the record for the fastest Knockout in UFC history at 7 seconds. He holds a career record of 7-2.

Quick Pick: Todd Duffee via KO in Round One

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Michael Johnson vs. Myles Jury

Michael “The Menace” Johnson is a 26-year-old fighter from St. Louis, Missouri. He is a member of the Blackzillians training in Boca Raton, Florida. The former TUF cast member holds a career record of 12-6, but is currently on a three fight winning streak. Myles “The Fury” Jury is a 24-year-old fighter from Hazel Park, Michigan. He is a member of the Alliance MMA Gym in San Diego, California. He holds a perfect professional record of 10-0.

Quick Pick: Michael Johnson via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner

Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard is a 29-year-old fighter from New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a member of the Blackzillians training out of the Jaco Hybrid Training Center in Boca Raton, Florida. He holds a career record of 30-11-2 with 1 No Contest. Jamie “The Worm” Varner is a 28-year-old fighter from Phoenix, Arizona. He is a former WEC Lightweight Champion who trains out of the AMA Fight Club in New Jersey. He holds a career record of 20-7-1 with 2 No Contests. This bout was supposed to take place two weeks ago at The Ultimate Fighter finale, but a last minute illness to Varner forced the bout to be postponed.

Quick Pick: Melvin Guillard via TKO in Round Three

Preliminary Card (FX): Bantamweight Bout: Erik Perez vs. Byron Bloodworth

Erik “Goyito” Perez is a 23-year-old fighter from Monterrey, Mexico. He now resides in the USA and trains with Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He holds a career record of 12-4, but is 2-0 in the UFC with two stoppage victories. Byron Bloodworth is a 29-year-old fighter from Lynchburg, Virginia. Bloodworth is a member of the Iron Clutch Fitness Gym in Atlanta, Georgia. He holds a professional record of 6-2.

Quick Pick: Erik Perez via Submission in Round One

Preliminary Card (FX): Bantamweight Bout: Eddie Wineland vs. Brad Pickett

Eddie Wineland is a 28-year-old fighter from Houston, Texas. Wineland was the inaugural WEC Bantamweight Champion. He trains out of the Duneland Vale Tudo Gym in Portage, Indiana. Wineland holds a career record of 19-8-1 with 16 Stoppage victories. Brad “One Punch” Pickett is a 34-year-old fighter from London, England. A former Cage Rage Featherweight Champion he now trains stateside with the American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. Pickett holds a career record of 22-6.

Quick Pick: Brad Pickett via TKO in Round Two

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Chris Leben vs. Derek Brunson

Chris “The Crippler” Leben is a 32-year-old fighter from Portland, Oregon. Leben is a fan favourite known for his iron chin and his brawling style, but lately he’s also become known as a troubled fighter who will be returning from a one-year-suspension. He was a cast member on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and has been in the UFC ever since. He is a member of the Icon Fitness MMA Gym in Oahu, Hawaii. The brawler holds a career record of 22-8.

Derek “Wrecking Ball” Brunson is a 28-year-old fighter from Wilmington, North Carolina. He is a former NCAA Division 2 All-American Wrestler from the University of North Carolina. He is a member of Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico. Brunson has power in his hands, but his technical striking skills are still developing. He does his best work on the mat, when he can control his opponents by using his top shelf wrestling skills. After starting his career undefeated at 9-0, he has suffered two straight defeats in 2012 to move his record to 9-2.

Analysis and Prediction: To me I think this one comes down a lot to how Leben responds to being off for a year. Brunson has shown some promise in his fights, but he still remains a pretty raw and unproven talent against top shelf competition. Besides Jacare Souza, Leben will be by far his stiffest competition and he’s taking the fight on late notice. Leben is a more complete striker and he’s probably been drilling takedown defense since his loss to Mark Munoz. Really I have a hard time imagining Brunson winning this fight, unless Leben looks like a shell of his former self. Chris Leben via TKO in Round Two

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Yushin Okami vs. Alan Belcher

Yushin “Thunder” Okami is a 31-year-old fighter from Kanagawa, Japan. A former UFC Middleweight Title Challenger, Okami is one of the top Middleweight fighters in the UFC. Okami is a talented grinder, who does his best work using a ground based, wrestling and top control oriented game plan. He holds a black belt in Judo, which he uses well to earn trips and takedowns when standing. Okami is a member of Team Quest, training with Chael Sonnen in Portland, Oregon. He actually holds a career victory over Belcher already, having defeated Belcher in his UFC debut. Okami holds a professional record of 27-7.

Alan “The Talent” Belcher is a 28-year-old from Jonesboro, Arkansas. Recently after an eye injury caused a yearlong layoff and almost cost him his career, he has reeled off four straight stoppage victories and has emerged as a rising contender in the Middleweight division. Belcher is a talented striker who holds a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and a black belt in Duke Roufus Kickboxing. Belcher is also an underrated grappler who holds a brown belt in Judo and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Belcher is a member of the Roufusport Gym in Biloxi, Mississippi training under famed kick boxer Duke Roufus. He holds a career record of 18-6.

Analysis and Prediction: Belcher is a talented striker and his grappling game is definitely significantly underrated by a lot of people, but this isn’t a great match up for him. Okami is massive for Middleweight and he’s strong and perfectly content to wrestle his way to victories. In his last bout Okami was thoroughly dominating Tim Boetsch on the ground until a third round miracle comeback. Belcher is talented and dangerous on the feet, but I really don’t think Okami is going to give him time to get comfortable there. I expect a steady stream of one-twos and takedowns from Okami as he wrestles his way to a decision victory. Yushin Okami via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Tim Boetsch vs. Constantinos Philippou

Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch is a 31-year-old fighter from Lincolnville, Maine. He is a former NCAA Wrestler from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and often uses his wrestling skills to grind against his opponents on the mat. Boetsch is also a talented striker with big power, who owns a black belt in Jeet Kune Do. The former Light Heavyweight fighter has enjoyed a string of success since dropping to the UFC’s Middleweight division as he is currently on a four fight winning streak, including victories over Nick Ring, Kendall Grove, Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard. Boetsch is a member of the AMC Pankration Gym in Maine. He holds a career record of 16-4.

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Constantinos “Costa” Philippou is a 33-year-old fighter who was born in Limassol, Cyprus. He now resides and trains in New York City, New York where he is a member of the Serra-Longo Fight Team. Philippou is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but does his best work in the striking department. He is a talented and powerful striker who is technically sound and can throw bombs with the best of the Middleweight division. Currently riding a four fight-winning streak, Philippou holds a pro record of 11-2 with 1 No Contest.

Analysis and Prediction: Philippou has come a long way since his UFC debut where he was outworked on the mat by Nick Catone, but the game plan to defeat him likely remains the same. Boetsch has had a successful run since making the drop to Middleweight and he’s simply massive for the weight class. His style has remained the same as he remains a true grinder. He does his best work in close, using clinches to utilize dirty boxing and score trips and takedowns from there where he can work his top control game and ground and pound. Philippou needs to keep this fight at a distance if he wants to be successful, but I don’t think his footwork can keep him at range long enough to win this fight. Despite some success for Philippou I think Boetsch moves his way up the ladder another rung. Tim Boetsch via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Lightweight Bout: Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller

Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon is a 28-year-old fighter from East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Lauzon is best known for his highly entertaining style of fighting, as he’s taken home 11 post-fight bonuses during his UFC career. Lauzon’s striking is decent and fundamentally sound, although at times he uses a bit too much boxing and not enough kicks to be wholly effective. Still, he does his best work on the mat, as the purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is excellent at creating submission opportunities during sweeps on the mat. The former Ultimate Fighter cast member is the head trainer of his own gym Lauzon MMA in Massachusetts and holds a career record of 22-7.

Jim Miller is a 29-year-old fighter from Sparta Township, New Jersey. Miller is taking this fight as a late replacement for Gray Maynard. Miller is one half of the Miller Brothers, as his older brother Dan also competes in the UFC as a Welterweight. Miller is a member of the AMA Fight Club in New Jersey, where he is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Miller is an aggressive fighter who is constantly moving forward against his opponents. His striking is fairly rudimentary, but he has decent power and a strong one-two which transitions well into takedown shots that he blends well. On the mat, Miller is a talented grappler who is dangerous anytime that there is a scramble on the mat. He holds a career record of 21-4.

Analysis and Prediction: Both of these guys are aggressive and love to fight balls to the wall. Both are also decent strikers that do their best work on the mat, so it will be an interesting styles clash to say the least. Lauzon has to be one of the best first round fighters in the UFC, as he absolutely storms out of the gates constantly searching for a finish, if he’s smart he’s been watching Nate Diaz’s one sided beat down of Miller over and over to glean some tips from it. That loss may also be important to Miller, since it will be his first fight since and how he responds to that loss will say a lot about how this fight goes down. Miller has the skills to grind out a decision using his wrestling to control and dominate Lauzon on the mat, but Lauzon is very dangerous at any time. As it is I think Miller uses takedowns and top control to wear out Lauzon and eventually comes away with a decision victory, sealing the deal in the third round. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Heavyweight Championship Bout: Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez

Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos is a 28-year-old Brazilian fighter from Santa Catarina, Brazil. He is the reigning and defending UFC Heavyweight Champion, a belt that he won from his challenger Cain Velasquez. Dos Santos is one of the most talented and hardest hitting strikers in the Heavyweight division, owning 11Knockouts in 15 career victories. Dos Santos also has excellent grappling skills, holding a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under famed fighter Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Dos Santos is a member of the Black House Gym, training with Team Nogueira in Bahia, Brazil. Dos Santos is a dangerous fighter, who already holds a career victory via first round knockout against Velasquez. He holds a professional record of 15-1 and hasn’t lost since November of 2007.

Cain Velasquez is a Mexican-American fighter from Salinas, California. The 30-year-old is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Arizona State University. Velasquez is a member of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California and is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion. Velasquez holds a brown belt in Guerilla Jiu Jitsu, which is a form of submission grappling more suited to modern MMA. Despite his previous loss to Dos Santos, many people have claimed that he took the bout with a significant knee injury since it was the UFC’s debut on Fox, and really shouldn’t have been fighting in the first place. Still, he remains a dangerous fighter wherever the bout takes place, as his striking has been rapidly improving and he’s a nightmare for anyone to handle on the mat. In his last bout he absolutely demolished Antonio Silva on the ground and left him a bloody mess, before finally earning a TKO in the first round. Velasquez holds a career record of 10-1, with his only loss coming against Dos Santos.

Analysis and Prediction: For many people the biggest question heading in to this contest is ‘Can Cain earn a takedown against Dos Santos?’ A man who has proven to be nearly impossible to takedown in the UFC, in fact he’s only been taken down once in his entire UFC career and it lasted for only seconds. For me, I think a more important question to consider is how is Dos Santos going to be able to handle himself if he does in fact end up underneath of Velasquez.

Cain has one of the most aggressive and nasty top games in the Heavyweight division. He throws ground and pound with bad intentions and his elbows can absolutely end your night as they cause significant damage. Cain is also a better striker than he showed in the first bout and to be honest, I think the injuries to both fighters are significant enough that the results of the first contest are barely even useful in a true fight analysis. Dos Santos’ trainers claim that he has one of the best ground games in the Heavyweight division, but even that isn’t going to be enough to contain Cain Velasquez, if he manages to score a takedown.

Dos Santos is surely going to be focusing on keeping this bout upright. Despite his claims that he’s ready to submit someone in the UFC, I’m not convinced he’s going to be pulling guard against a wrestler as talented as Velasquez. So for him, he’ll need to use footwork and an effective sprawl and brawl style to keep the bout standing and look for the big knockout shot. He’s shown that he can knock out almost anyone, if he hits them cleanly. Unfortunately I don’t think Velasquez will be nearly as slow or hittable as he was in their last encounter.

I don’t think Dos Santos can keep Velasquez at bay, and I think his advantage on the ground is far more significant that Dos Santos’ edge on the feet. That alone, combined with the fact that we’re going to see a significantly better and strong Velasquez make me think it’s going to be time for the challenger to reclaim his belt. I think he stops Dos Santos with strikes in the third round. Cain Velasquez via TKO in Round Three

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The Ultimate Fighter 13 Season Premiere Thoughts

March 30, 2011 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The Ultimate Fighter 13 cast will feature 14 welterweightsThe highly anticipated The Ultimate Fighter season 13 has finally arrived. If you were expecting to see fireworks between TUF coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos you are going to have to wait until UFC 131. Otherwise it was a fairly average show.

Brock Lesnar isn’t there to play. Brock Lesnar had a snarl for most of the show. For a guy that understands sports entertainment it doesn’t appear Brock is going to go out of his way to sell his UFC 131 fight against Junior much this season. There weren’t any confrontations tonight nor were there any teased in the season preview.

Junior Dos Santos was very happy to be there. At times it looked like JDS was just downright giddy. At one point my wife (who got dragged into watching) remarked to me, “I’d rather train with Brock. He is much more serious.”

The TUF 13 coaches had time to evaluate the fighters before they picked. Brock Lesnar based his evaluation on the guys’ cardio while Junior appeared to base his on technique and had them working out in the octagon. I think that speaks volumes of what to expect out of Lesnar’s team. Even before the first fight it appeared Lesnar spent more time working on his fighter’s cardio as opposed to Santos who had his guy sparring.

Dana White eliminated preliminary fights and put everyone in the house immediately. Thank God! I absolutely detest those preliminary fights. Most of these guys are inexperienced as it is. Put more than 12 in there and you have some of least skilled fights you will ever see in MMA. It is also boring. The last few season openers were nothing but fights with no personality. It killed my interest right off the bat in the last two seasons. I think that was a wise move and I hope they don’t return in future seasons.

Both guys got the fighters they wanted with their first draft picks. Brock picked Len Bently who has a pro record of 9-4 with the first overall pick while Junior took Shamar Bailey who has a 10-3 record. I wouldn’t read that much into first draft picks. Bobby Southworth and Kimbo Slice were top draft picks while Roy Nelson and Forrest Griffin were late picks on their respective seasons. It should also be noted that the draft wasn’t live. Dana wound up coming into the room and reading off picks. Nobody seemed happy or disappointed with their teams.

One of the fighters already left due to injury. Myles Jury who came into the show with a 9-0 record tore his ACL during the evaluations. Tough break as Jury was one of the strongest fighters on paper coming into this season.

All of the fighters looked to be in great conditioning in the first episode. There is nothing that kills me more than seeing a kid getting the break of a lifetime show up to The Ultimate Fighter out of shape. Everyone looked good in the cardio and fight workouts which is a positive sign indeed.

Junior got to make the first fight and he made Shamar Bailey vs. Nordin Asrih which was the first pick vs. the last pick. Bailey was just way too big for him and the two looked like they were in different weight classes. Bailey outwrestled him and just grounded and pounded Asrih for two rounds to win. For an opening fight, this one was very disappointing. Brock didn’t seem surprised by the result. Dana White after the fight also noted that the fight sucked which isn’t the ringing endorsement you hope to get from your potential employer.

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One thing that did strike me throughout the first episode is that Junior seemed to bond a bit more with his guys than Brock did. Junior was joking around and heavily involved with his guys while Brock just seemed to be all business. Even during the fight, Junior was constantly yelling as opposed to Brock who barely said two words. Hey, at least his best advice wasn’t “Get up Abe!”

The Ultimate Fighter usually has a rowdy member or two of the bunch that try to walk in the shoes of Chris Leben. I didn’t find any of these fighters to be particularly undisciplined but there were a few clips of chaos during the season preview at the end of the show. For the most part most of the guys seemed to be level headed and focused on the task at hand.

The biggest disappointment in the first episode was Brock Lesnar. I think a lot of people expected Brock to come into the show all crazy and loud when for the most part, Brock was pretty quiet. Brock and Junior have both been quite complimentary to one another in media interviews over the last week or two. The closest we got to any kind of madness was Brock offering a handshake to Junior after they made the first fight and Junior opting for a pat on the back instead. Not exactly what I’d call the makings of a great grudge match.

If there is one danger here that I saw tonight it is that TUF may expose Brock Lesnar as an MMA fighter who isn’t particularly skilled. I have written about this before but tonight, Brock looked like he was way out of his league. The obvious differences in the way the coaches ran their training camps have the potential to make this a very one sided show. I can’t imagine how Brock Lesnar will handle this is if he is made to look like a fool by the end of the season.

All in all if there was anything I took out of tonight’s episode and the season preview at the end, it is that this season is going to be rather tame. There was one clip of Brock calling his team out but that was it, just one clip of any controversy involving the former UFC heavyweight champion. There were a few skirmishes in the house shown in the preview but nothing of legendary proportion. By the time this season’s over I think fans will see a lot of fights, some good, some bad, and not much more.

I just hope they get a little more exciting than the fight that closed the show tonight.

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The Ultimate Fighter 13 Welterweight Cast Announced

February 28, 2011 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The Ultimate Fighter 13 cast will feature 14 welterweightsThe Ultimate Fighter season 13 fighter cast has officially been announced. A TUF 13 video introducing the cast was released today by Spike TV. Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos will coach 14 welterweights who will compete for a UFC contract.

The video is a great introduction to all 14 fighters who will be competing on TUF 13. Yes TUF will be more than about Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos, although the coaches will be the focus and the ratings draw. At first glance, it looks like the UFC has done a tremendous job of assembling 14 very talented welterweights, most of which have quite a bit of experience.

Five of the welterweights have at least ten professional MMA fights a piece. Nordin Asrih, Shamar Bailey, Myles Jury, Anthony Furguson, and Charlie Rader may be familiar names to hardcore MMA fans. Nordin Asrih of Germany is the oldest cast member at 32 years old. Asrih also has the most experience with a record of 16-5-1.

There are two competitors with undefeated MMA records. Javier Torres of Las Vegas, Nevada is 3-0 and aged 25 years old. Myles Jury of San Diego, CA is the youngest competitor this season at age 22. Don’t be fooled by Jury’s age as he has a total of nine professional MMA fights and is 9-0. In the promo video Jury says he is an 8-0, yet Sherdog has him listed at 9-0. Jury has huge potential at his age and early development to be a major player in the UFC. He was also one of the few guys that showed a little bit of charisma in the introduction video.

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Off the top I’d say Clay Harvison and Anthony Furguson probably came off with the most charisma of anyone in the videos. Furguson is 10-2 and 26 years old. Harvison probably got the most face time of anyone in the video so take that for what it’s worth. “Heavy Metal” Harvison is 6-1 and 30 years old.

The entire The Ultimate Fighter Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos cast…
Nordin Asrih 16-5-1
Shamar Bailey 10-3
Len Bentley 9-4
Michael “Mick” Bowman 7-2
Keon Caldwell 8-1
Chris Cope 4-1
Zachary Davis 4-1
Anthony Ferguson 10-2
Clay Harvison 6-1
Myles Jury 9-0
Ryan McGillivray 11-4-1
Ramsey Nijem 4-1
Charlie Rader 16-5
Javier Torres 3-0

The Ultimate Fighter Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos premieres on Spike TV at 9 PM/EST on Wednesday March 30. Brock Lesnar vs. Junior Dos Santos takes place at UFC 131.

Note: Video coming soon. I didn’t include the video as of this time because of player issues.

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