Thursday, February 18, 2010

UFC Lightweight Champion - "The Prodigy" BJ Penn

On the same night that Anderson Silva is scheduled to defend his title, lightweight UFC champion BJ Penn will also put his title on the line in Abu Dhabi against up and comer Frankie Edgar. BJ Penn is without question the most dominant lightweight champion the UFC has ever seen. Like Anderson Silva, Penn likes to move up a weight division in order to further challenge himself. In fact BJ Penn has fought the current welterweight champ George St. Pierre in a effort to hold two championship titles at once, but to no avail. With recent wins over top contenders Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian, Penn has solidified himself as a truly great champion. Additionally, his most recent wins can be attributed to his improved conditioning program which was questioned in the past. With that, we may end up seeing another rematch with George St. Pierre in the near future.

Frankie Edgar made his UFC debut in February of 2007 and has proven that he is fighter that is willing to go the distance. The majority of Edgar’s wins have come from unanimous decisions and he has only suffered one loss in the octagon at the hands of Gray Maynard by decision. Frankie has proven that he can stand with champions in that he has defeated former lightweight champ Sean Sherk, again by decision. Frankie Edgar’s strategy for the fight with BJ Penn will probably be to use his excellent conditioning to take Penn into the later rounds and either squeak out a decision or possibly knock Penn out. Anyway you look at it, Edgar is going to have his hands full trying to avoid the ground game and knock-out power of BJ Penn.

My prediction for the Penn vs. Edgar UFC lightweight championship fight is that BJ Penn will emerge victorious in the third round by submission.

UFC 112: Invincible promises to be a historical event full of fast paced action that fans love. The fight card rivals that of UFC 100, which also held two championship fights. Also, the location of Abu Dhabi is a first for the UFC and opens the door to further increase the popularity of the sport worldwide. Here’s hoping for some great fights in 2010.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

UFC Middleweight Champion - Anderson "The Spider" Silva

On April 10, 2010 Anderson “The Spider” Silva will put his middleweight championship title on the line against the talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Demian Maia. Since his induction into the UFC in 2006 Anderson Silva has proven himself as one of the most dominant fighters to ever enter the octagon. Fans have been astonished with Silva’s precise striking and how he uses it to dominate all challengers that come his way. After knocking out Chris Leben (who has an exceptionally strong chin) in the first round in 49 seconds Silva was granted a title shot against the dynamic UFC champion Rich “Ace” Franklin. People criticized the management of the UFC for giving Anderson a title shot with only one win under his belt in the UFC, but Silva showed everyone why. Anderson utilized the muay-thai clinch to overwhelm Franklin in the first round to become the UFC middleweight champion. Since then Anderson Silva has basically ran through all other challengers and has even fought in a higher weight class with phenomenal results. One of those fights in the higher weight class includes Forrest Griffin who was absolutely embarrassed by the striking prowess of Silva. Is it a wonder why Anderson “The Spider” Silva has been named by many as the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world? I think not.

If styles make fights then Anderson’s next opponent may prove to be a handful. Demiam Maia possesses dangerous BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) skills which will take away the advantage that Silva has with striking; that is if Maia can get him to the ground. Demian Maia has been working his way up through the middleweight ranks of the UFC since 2007. Big names that Maia has defeated include Chael Sonnen, Jason MacDonald and Ed Herman. Demian has one loss against him which happened at the hands of Nate Marquardt by a devastating knock out which actually knock Maia off his feet. That being said, Demian Maia’s strategy for his upcoming fight against Silva will likely be to get Anderson down to the ground as fast as possible and submit him, which is easier said than done.

Two other things to note about the upcoming UFC 112 are that originally it was supposed to be Vitor Belfort facing Anderson Silva (which I believe would have been a phenomenal fight) and that the actual event is taking place in Abu Dhabi.

Finally, my prediction for the Silva vs. Maia UFC middleweight title fight is that Anderson Silva will emerge victorious in the later part of the first round.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

UFC Welterweight Champion – George “Rush” St. Pierre

The next UFC championship title fight is going to take place in the welterweight division on March 27th of 2010. The reigning welterweight champ George “Rush” St. Pierre of Canada will put his title on the line against Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy of the United Kingdom. While Hardy will prove to be a tough opponent with great technical striking I expect that the current champion St. Pierre will prove victorious because he is an extremely well-rounded fighter in excellent condition. The current UFC champ (St. Pierre) won his last fight against Thiago Alves by unanimous decision after five hard fought rounds in July of 2009; which brought his winning streak to eight-in-a-row. Hardy is coming off two decision wins against tough opponents Mike Swick and Marcus Davis proving that he is a force to be reckoned with.

My overall prediction for the fight is that George St. Pierre will be victorious in the second via submission. This prediction is based on witnessing both fighters perform in the octagon. Dan Hardy’s main strength lies in his technical striking and resilience to being taken down to the ground, but he hasn’t faced an opponent with as much athleticism as St. Pierre yet. I expect that in the first round the combatants will trade standing up to get a feel for things, then St. Pierre will outwork Hardy for the takedown and begin to wear him out. In the second round I think that Hardy will get caught in an arm-bar to give St. Pierre his ninth straight win in the octagon.

Without overlooking the “punchers chance” that always exists with great strikers, one can’t help but wonder who might be next in line to fight one of the most dominate UFC champions of all time. Some candidates consist of Anthony Johnson, Paulo Thiago, Martin Kampmann and Carlos Condit just to name a few. There have also been rumours of a “super-fight” between the welterweight champion George St. Pierre and the middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva, which is an idea which makes me nervous for St. Pierre.

All other things being considered though, I hope that George “Rush” St. Pierre will remain the UFC welterweight champion of the World for the duration of 2010 and onward.

On a similar note, I would like to end this post by saying that Canada produces some great mixed martial artists.

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