Here we are back after the festivities and fun of Christmas time and welcoming in the New Year. I hope you have not over spent or over indulged. I know my New Year’s resolutions include getting a six-pack instead of a potbelly and winning the Lotto. Probably neither will happen but hey you got to have a goal to aim for!
UFC 92 lived up to the hype, being a fantastic event to finish off the year for the Zuffa owned brand on pay per view.
UFC 92: The Ultimate – Review and Results
One baby-face lost and another won in style! Right at the top of the card the hottest UFC baby-face lost – Forrest Griffin but the other fan favourite won – Quinton Rampage Jackson. Originally I thought big Nog would weather the storm but it wasn’t to be, Mir was wicked in the stand up! It was all surprises overall with the 3 big fights in fact, although Rashad winning seemed pretty likely to me. It’s good to see Rampage the UFC’s other babyface back on top form.
So how good were my forecasts for UFC 92 I made in the last Worked Shoot? Not exactly spot on by the looks of it, just 1 out of 3 near enough right. It is a good job I didn”t place a bet on them all.
Here is more on each fight plus a look back at my predictions:
Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson grudge match
My prediction: Wanderlei Silva – win by TKO in round 3.
Aired lower down on the card but it was in fact the number three reason to order this stacked PPV. Wow I didn”t seeing this one coming following Rampages loss to Griffin coupled with the incident that followed. Boy was Jackson back and on top form having left the US soil for England training at the Wolfs Lair, the home of Michael “The Count” Bisping. Rampage was out for avenge continuing their rivalry from Japan. If you caught the build up at the weigh in you would have seen some heated exchange of words followed by some shoving, so no wonder neither opponent touched gloves at the opening of the bout. Rampage”s last Octagon outing went the distance but not this time swiping the win within the first round. Rampage won the bout by completely overwhelming his opponent Wanderlei Silva using his trademark “crazy monkey style’ to avenge his two previous losses to the Brazilian fighter in Pride FC. One of the ringside witnesses to this is slaughtering of Silva was none other than Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, the fighter Rampage took the Light heavyweight strap away from. It was a classic moment as Chuck looked towards the floor not wanting to see what had taken place. I get the feeling Liddell is staying in the light heavyweight bracket now but is none too keen. As Joe Rogan said both fighters have changed since Rampage”s two losses to Wanderlei. Rampage has improved with age where as Wanderlei is not as consistently dominant as he once was back in Pride Fight Championships.
In the post fight interview Rampage celebrates with a Sting style howl and hollers out thanks to the Lord above and the Wolfs Lair MMA gym in Britain. So in a way it was a win for British MMA as well as a huge comeback win Rampage himself.
Minotauro Nogueira vs. Frank Mir – Interim Heavyweight title fight
My prediction: Nogueira to tap-out Mir in the 2nd or 3rd round to take it, thus becoming Brock Lesnar”s next opponent and challenger for the heavyweight crown.
I put my hands up to this one, as my prediction was totally wrong. Before the action kicked off Brock Lesnar is asked his thoughts on the fight. A humble sounding Brock proclaiming himself as not the real champ until after he has fought the winner of Mir and Nog”s Interim Heavyweight title decider. Preferably the UFC”s ‘Next Big Thing’ Brock wants Mir to be the victor so to he can settle the score. Lesnar picked the right man
Round one sets off seeing Mir dominating in stand up, displaying fantastic boxing technique. Mir was storming in his stand up attack on the veteran Nogueira. We never got to see any either fighters ground skill expertise, when it did go to the ground Mir brought the action straight back up to the feet.
Round two continuing the fight without grappling ground action, which was would have been expected from two masters of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Soon into the second round it did not take Mir long to take the win by TKO knocking veteran Nog to the canvas of the caged combat zone. Well I never knew if the Interim Title challenge was a set for three rounds or five but got to found out seeing the fight only reached as far as round two!
Post fight during Frank”s interview despite Brock Lesnar coming across very humble giving us the impression he had crossed over to being a fan favourite he gets booed by the UFC crowd proving in the fans eyes he is a hated heel. All the more reason for Dana White and Joe Silva to give Brock and Mir top of the show at a future pay per view event this year.
So there we have it another surprise as Nogueira rated as one of the very best heavyweight MMA fighters in the world takes a horrific loss to Frank Mir. Brock Lesnar now knows who he will be defending his belt against when the times come, with the added advantage he has fought him once before so knows what to avoid and train for. Then on the other hand the new Interim Champion Frank Mir is on a high having beat a man who he looked up and beat in impressive fashion will be facing the WWE guy he beat last time.
Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans – Light Heavyweight Title Fight
My prediction: I see this going of two ways a decision win for Griffin after the full 5 rounds or Evans knocking out Griffin in an early round.
This is the one if I did not sit on fence I would have predicted correctly. The UFC poll indicated that the fans were backing their hero fan favourite Forrest Griffin. Rashad Evans going into the fight has a clean record of no losses intending to keep his winning streak intact. One of his victims includes the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell another fan favourite and icon of the Octagon. In fact Rashad is the one punch powered fighter who put Liddell to sleep. As he Rashad enters the cage to the sound of rapper KRS One”s “Step into a World” it is clear who the fans in attendance want to lose. Personally I loved seeing Rashad entering to a KRS One tune but hey I am an old school Hip Hop which affirmed it for me who I wanted to take the title home.
Griffin got a great reception from the crowd being the winner of the original Ultimate Fighter series, known for having a lot of heart. In fact it can be said Griffin played a major role getting the UFC and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts accepted in the main-stream. Rashad also a name recognised from the series made the bout a crowd grabbing match-up sure to pull in the punters. Both men stepping into this were there to prove themselves as worthy of the top spot on the pay per view event having come from the reality TV series. Griffin as champion also needed to prove he is worthiness as champion seeing as his was not 100% decisive a lot of people”s eyes. So it was winning streak versus title!
Round one kicked started off fairly even with both men on their feet keeping to a stand up game. The taller fan favourite fighter Forrest appeared to have the slight edge over his opponent.
Into the second round we saw more explosive boxing action, with again a slight edge to title holder Griffin.
As round three got under way into the thick of the action Evans shoots in taking down Griffin, following up by pounding him into the mat, with Griffin moving squirming to just about enough to defend the attack to avoid the ref calling for a stoppage. Rashad keeps Forrest on the floor until he gets what he is aiming for and blasts him chin for the win, giving Sugar Rashad a sweet TKO win, declaring Evans the new UFC Undisputed Light Heavyweight of the World.
Prepare for some black on black violence within the confides of the cage in 2009 when the new Light Heavyweight Champion will defend against undoubtedly the number contender in the division and a former champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Al Turk vs. Cheick Congo
Other action on the night included the Lebanese British based hopeful Al Turk versus Cheick Congo of France. In the clinch Al Turk kneed Congo below the belt causing a timeout. Not long after the action restarted Congo did the same back to Al Turk, giving the fighters another timeout. So it was evens on that count. Really this just dragged the bout out longer but the action itself did not last long. Congo outclassed his opponent winning by a swift ground and pound. In fact it appeared ground fighter Al Turk went to the ground on purpose with the aim of pulling guard. Congo looked awesome; in all fairness the ref could easily have stopped it sooner in my opinion. Despite being known as the Cage Rage British Heavyweight Champion Al Turk was no match for the Wolfs Lair trained Congo.
Pat Berry vs. Dan “The Viking” Evenson
Elsewhere on the fight card K1 striker Pat Berry made his Octagon debut taking on Dan “The Viking” Evenson. Berry gave us an impressive tester of his K1 kicking credentials within the MMA cage. Taken down once but recovering his stance back to the up right position Berry is quick to bag his first UFC win with one fast powerful leg kick. Now it not often you see a fight ended that way in the UFC!
CB Dollaway vs. Mike Massenio
Following that display of amazing stand up skills we see an amateur wrestling rivalry revived as The Ultimate Fighter 7 runner up CB Dollaway fought wrestling rival Mike Massenzio. Unsurprisingly it was not long for the action to towards the deck. Things seemed to be going Massenzio”s way looking likely he would win by a tap-out but Dollaway got the upper hand taking Massenio”s back beating him with his face facing the canvass and no where to go. He just couldn”t seem to escape and lost to CB via ground and pound TKO.
Matt “The Hammer” Hamill vs. Reese Andy
Acclaimed deaf fighter Matt Hamill took on Reese Andy for the next contest as it was wrestler versus wrestler. Neither decided to grapple in the opening round, keeping the action upright.
Come round two Andy seems all out of gas, Hamill senses this taking down his opponent with the win coming by way of TKO ground and pound finish.
K1 and DREAM – Fields Dynamite
Wednesday 31st December 2008 – Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan
Results credit to – MMAFighting.com
Full results from the New Years Eve Japanese super show:
1. K-1 Koshien Reserve Bout
Taishi Hiratsuka def. Daizo Sasaki via KO – R2
2. DREAM Open-Weight Bout
Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa def. Errol Zimmerman via submission (toehold) – R1
3. K-1 Koshien Semi-final Bout
Koya Urabe def. Tatsuya Kusakabe via TKO – R3
4. K-1 Koshien Semi-final Bout Hiroya def. Shota Shimada via unanimous decision
Artur Kyshenko def. Yoshihiro Sato via majority decision
Daisuke Nakamura def. Hideo Tokoro via submission (arm bar) – R1
Andy Ologun def. Yukio Sakaguchi via KO – R1
8. K-1 Koshien Final
Hiroya def. Koya Urabe via unanimous decision
9. DREAM Heavyweight Bout
Bob Sapp def. Kinniku Mantaro via TKO – R1
10. DREAM Heavyweight Bout
Semmy Schilt def. Mighty Mo via submission (triangle choke) – R1
Hayato “Mach” Sakurai def. Katsuyori Shibata via TKO – R1
Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Kozo Takeda via TKO – R1
13. K-1 Heavyweight
Alistair Overeem def. Badr Hari via TKO – R1
14. DREAM Heavyweight
Mirko “Cro Cop” def. Hong Man Choi via TKO – R1
Gegard Mousasi def. Musashi via TKO – R1
16. DREAM Heavyweight
Melvin Manhoef def. Mark Hunt via KO – R1
17. DREAM Lightweight Bout/WAMMA Championship Bout
Shinya Aoki def. Eddie Alvarez via submission (heel hook) – R1
Kiyoshi Tamura def. Kazushi Sakuraba via unanimous decision
Very little footage available to view up on good old youtube of the action in the orient but after trawling through I did find the full fight between Cro Cop and the giant known as Hong Man Choi
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs Hong Man Choi
World Victory Road: Sengoku No Ran 2009
Sunday January 4th 2009 – Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan
Another big card took place recently in the Orient that being Sengoku No Ran.
Here are the results from the show:
Results credit to MMAFighting.com
Hidetaka Irie def. Minoru Kato via TKO (strikes) – R2 (4:21)
Maximo Blanco def. Seigo Inoue via KO – R1 (0:38)
Choi Mu Bae def. Dave “Pee Wee” Herman via TKO (strikes) – R2 (2:22)
Eiji Mitsuoka def. Sergey Golyaev via submission (arm bar) – R1 (4:22)
Antonio Silva def. Yoshihiro “KISS” Nakao via TKO (injury) – R1 (1:42)
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawel def. Yukiya Naito via TKO (strikes) – R1 (3:54)
Sanae Kikuta def. Hidehiko Yoshida via split decision
Jorge Santiago def. Kazuo Misaki via submission (RNC) – R5 (3:26)
Satoru Kitaoka def. Takanori Gomi via submission (Achilles lock) – R1 (1:41)
Here is some of the footage from the Sengoku show available on youtube
Sengoku 7: Kiss Nakao vs Antonio Silva
Choi Mu Bae vs. Dave “Pee Wee” Herman
Jan. 17 UFC 93: Dublin (PPV)
The UFC start things off by debuting in Dublin for their first ever event held in the Emerald Isle. Topping the bill will be Rich Franklin against Dan Henderson clashing in Middleweight action. Both fighters are former champions, Franklin a former UFC Middleweight Champion, Henderson a former Pride middleweight and Welterweight Champion. It looks highly likely the winner of this contest will be the opposite coach to British fighter Michael “The Count” Bisping on The Ultimate Fighter Season 9.
Billed as the co-main event is Mark Coleman taking on Maurico Rua in the Light Heavyweight Division. The two stars making their return to Octagon action are both also former champions. Rua is the Pride 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix winner and the Pride 2000 Open Weight Grand Prix winner; Coleman is a UFC Hall of Famer plus a former Heavyweight Champion.
Here is how the pay per view card currently looks.
Rich Franklin (24-3) vs. Dan Henderson (23-7)
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (16-3) vs. Mark Coleman (15-8)
Denis Kang (31-10-1) vs. Alan Belcher (13-5)*
Marcus Davis (15-4) vs. Chris Lytle (26-16-5)*
Under card (May not be broadcast):
Ivan Serati (10-2) vs. Tomasz Drwal (14-2)*
Andre Gusmao (5-1) vs. Antonio Mendes (15-3)*
*Fight not yet officially confirmed by UFC.com
Affliction: Day of Reckoning
A week later, following hot on the heels of the first Irish UFC pay per view, back in the US new kid on the MMA block make their anticipated return on Saturday 24th January.
Titled Affliction: Day of Reckoning will once again be hosted at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Reigning WAMMA Heavyweight Champion takes his place in the headlining bout; his challenger on the night is Andrei Arlovski.
Affliction 2 will be available in the US via Showtime PPV on January 24th. This mammoth show will also feature Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Vladimir Matyushenko in action airing live on HDNet fights.
Here is the fully announced card so far for Affliction: Day of Reckoning
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski
Matt Lindland (21-5) vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral 185 lbs
Chris Horodecki (12-1) vs. Dan Lauzon (10-2) 155 lbs
Josh Barnett vs. TBA 265 lbs
Vitor Belfort vs. TBA 185 lbs
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Vladimir Matyushenko 205 lbs
Paul Buentello vs. Kiril Sidelnikov (4-2) 265 lbs
Jay Hieron vs. Jason High 170 lbs
Mark Hominick vs. LC Davis 145 lbs
Albert Rios vs. Antonio Duarte 145 lbs
Brett Cooper vs. TBA 265 lbs
Confirmed for UFC 95 in London will be Demian Maia vs Chael Sonnen, the outcome will declare a challenger to take on Anderson Silva the current reigning Middleweight champion.
Coverage of the M1 Challenge started over on digital channel Bravo 2 this past Monday the 5th January. M1 Challenge is a league similar to the now defunct IFL in that the focus is on teams, the difference being the teams represent not only a gym but also their own country.
Well The Fight Network has now gone from our screens in the UK on Sky television and former UFC referee “Big” John McCarthy has left what remains of the company in North America. Going by what Joe Rogan said on UFC 92 he wants to get in back his former role as a UFC referee.
See you back here in two weeks time on Sunday 24th January for more MMA results, reviews, news, views, previews and pundit predictions.