Friday, August 10, 2012

UFC 150: No More Rematches Please

After the most successful UFC card on Fox history the organization carries the momentum into Denver for a card headlined by the lightweight title rematch between Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar.

This card sums up an issue I currently have with the UFC. Right now fighters, especially the champions, have too much power in picking their fights.Frankie Edgar received this rematch because he refused to drop to 145. I understand he gave two rematches but one was because Penn is a legend and the other was because the fight ended in a draw.

Then, in the middleweight division Anderson Silva refuses to face Chris Weidman, the clear number one contender because wins over Demian and Maia and Mark Munoz are not impressive to his camp. If Silva will not fight Jon Jones or Weidman who is there left for him? His camp suggests Rich Franklin, seems like a guy who is more concerned about his legacy than actually challenging himself.

If there is a champion who has a right to complain about challengers it is Jn Jones. I won't get too much into it now, but if Jones does get bey Henderson, how is Machida the best Dana White 7 Co can offer to challenge him.

This weekend's card has plenty of story lines but the one thing we can be thankful is that DW learned from the Rothwell-Hunt “thriller and kept the big boys off this card in Denver.

Now on to the picks....

The pay-per-view portion of the card card starts with a featherweight bout that showcases the future of the division. Lawrence (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), at 22 years old, is the elder in this fight and comes from the most recent TUF season where he lost in the semi-finals to eventual winner Michael Cheisa. Lawrence bounced back with a two bonus performance when he knocked John Cofer out cold at the finale.

Holloway (5-1, 1-1), only 20 years old, bounced back from his first career loss against Dustin Poirier with a dominating decision over Pat Schilling in June. Holloway really impressed me in his last fight. After watching his performance against Poirier I felt that he needed more time to develop. His striking is explosive but he can get wild at times.

When the cast for TUF: Live was announced many picked Lawrence as the guy to beat. He was a highly successful amateur kickboxing champion and is a two-time St. Louis Golden Gloves boxing champion. (Thank you Wikipedia). I'll take Lawrence here collecting another bonus.

Lawrence KO Round 2

Roberts (12-2, 1-0) is a Team Jackson product receiving a huge opportunity in this bout. He defeated Caio Magahalhaes in June by decision. The win did not set shockwaves throughout the division but due to a couple of injuries he is now in a fight with all upside for him.

Okami (26-7, 10-4) needs a win after losing straight to Anderson Silva and Tim Boetsch. After originally scheduled to face Rousimar Palhares, Okami should be glad to get a guy like Roberts. It gives hims a chance to get back on the winning track on a PPV main card. Three losses in a row will damage any fighter so the best thing for Okami is to go out and do what he does best. Don't get too wild, move around, and sprinkle in some take downs. He will not earn any new fans with this performance but at this point all Okami needs is a win.

Okami Decision (30-27)

At first glance this looks like a huge mismatch. Shields (27-6-1, 2-2) has been a champion in nearly have organization he has competed in and has notable wins over Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Martin Kampmann and Dan Henderson. After going 2-2 in the Octagon, Shields is set to make his UFC middleweight debut, a weight he has not fought at since April 2010. He is a submission ace, but his cardio has been questioned since coming off to the UFC and it will be interesting to see how how getting back to this weight effects him.

Herman (20-7, 7-5) is in the middle of a career renaissance. He has a three fight winning streak, all finishes, but no one near the caliber of Shields. Herman's best chance in this fight is to avoid going to the ground. Despite being a black belt himself, there is no doubt the best chance for him to win is keeping the fight on his feet.

I expect to see a vintage Jake Shields out there. The first round will feature some awkward stand up exchanges before Shields gets top control in the second and finishes it.

Shields Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2

A lightweight battle between two friends is the co-main event. The build up to this fight has been more about Cerrone (!8-4, 4-1) calling out Anthony Pettis rather than talking about his scheduled opponent. Cowboy is coming off a clear-cut decision win over Jeremy Stephens and is looking to jump to the front of the lightweight division. Cerrone is dangerous wherever the fight goes but loves finishing his opponent on the ground. (13 submission wins)

In October of last year Guillard (30-10-2, 11-6) was on his way to a title shot. An upset by Joe Lauzon and a submission loss to Jim Miller through ice on his hot streak. But after a decision win just over a month ago against Fabricio Camoes, Guillard took this fight on short notice to get back to the top.

Guillard appears to be in trouble. Nine of his ten losses have come by submission and as mentioned before, Cerrone loves that. The two promise a brawl but despite his gentlemanly drawl I expect Cowboy to go for the submission early and end this thing.

Cerrone Submission (Triangle Choke) Round 1

Frankie Edgar (14-2-1, 9-2-1) aka the king of the rematch looks to regain his title in the main event. Honestly, I am not that excited for this fight. It pains me to say that because there are so many great match ups to make in the 155 pound division. Edgar possesses some of the best footwork in the UFC and above average wrestling as well. No one will show more heart in a fight than the New Jersey native but is that enough to take out the much bigger Henderson (16-2, 4-0)?

In their first fight Edgar looked like a featherweight and Henderson was competing at 170. Smooth has been on a roll since dropping the WEC title to Anthony Pettis in December 2010. The first fight he went toe to toe with Edgar and at the end of the fight looked like he could go five more rounds.
After reviewing their first fight again I still like Henderson in this one. If he throws less kicks and lands another one of those upkicks, he should be able to control the action and defend his title. Just don't expect him to finish Edgar.

Henderson Unanimous Decision (49-46)
Win or Lose, let's promise to not fight each other again
If you liked this article please leave a comment below and vote on the poll to the right.  Also, I started a weekly podcast called Split Decision on with my friend Ryan Penney, needless to say it is pretty awesome so you check that out too.

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