Tuesday, April 11, 2006

UFC Picks

I'm looking forward to UFC 59 this weekend, which will be my fifth MMA event in four different states. It's an interesting card, and should be an electric atmosphere. Tito's response should be very interesting in particular, and his fight with Forrest is going to have incredible heat. I hope that they announce the signing of Rampage, and that the crowd reacts for him. I kind of doubt they will at first, but maybe the hardcores will give enough of a superstar reaction that the rest of the crowd will catch on. Here are my thoughts on the evening:

Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin: This is the real main event of the evening. Maybe I'm underestimating Griffin, but I don't give him much of a shot. I just see Ortiz as being a lot stronger, and being able to take it to the ground and control. It might end up like the fight with Patrick Cote. Griffin has a better ground game, but I'm not sure it's all that much greater. I can't see Forrest knocking out Tito, and Tito won't wind in 3 rounds, so there's not a lot of options for Forrest.

Andrei Arlovsky vs. Tim Sylvia: Arlovsky via a dominating, brutal knockout. What about the first fight wasn't clear? Arlovsky's better standing and better on the ground. Sylvia is bigger. That is the only possible advantage he has. I read an interview where Sylvia said he is lighter and should be able to match Arlovsky's speed. Ha! I hope we get caveman AA and not GQ AA.

Nick Diaz vs. Sean Sherk: I want to see Diaz do well, because he's an entertaining fighter that brings it every time. But I've been jerked around him enough. Sherk is just stronger and will be able to overpower Diaz and dictate the game. Diaz unquestionably will put up a fight with strikes and submissions, but I see Sherk getting the decision.

Jeff Monson vs. Pe De Pano: I'm still not at all sold on Cruz, who seems to me awkward in an MMA setting and undeveloped. He beat a low level fighter and a guy who hadn't fought in ages and looked in awful fighting shape (maybe Mir hired Hunter's WrestleMania trainer). I think Monson's just better than him, and I think he will beat him rather handily.

Dave Terrell vs. Scott Smith: I'll pick an upset here. I think Terrell thinks he is better standing than he is because of the Lindland fight. His submissions game seemed totally off against Evan Tanner. I'm not sure his wrestling is good enough to dictate the fight consistently, so I think Smith will catch him and score the win.

Karo Parisyan vs. Nick Thompson: It's always a pleasure to watch Parisyan and his kind of unorthodox but highly effective style. Thompson's also a very good fighter, but Parisyan is very good at finding ways to beat good guys. I think he scores a decision or late sub win here.

Jason Lambert vs. Terry Martin: I kind of want to take Martin here, because he was controlling the fight with James Irvin before he got caught and that's his only MMA loss. He also beat common opponent Chael Sonnen, who scored a decision win over Lambert. But I just think Lambert has more skill than Martin and he'll get the win.

Thiago Alves vs. Derrick Noble: An interesting fight given Noble beat Alves a few years ago and Alves is still heavily favored. Alves has looked really good in his wins, and he's the sort of young fighter who you could imagine going on a real streak of wins. But Noble is no bum in there either. I give Alves the slight edge, but I'm tentative on that one.

Evan Tanner vs. Justin Levens: This is do or die for Tanner, who doesn't really have a spot going forward in UFC. UFC was unquestionably hoping for a Jeremy Horn win in the original scheduled fight to set up Horn as a challenger for Rich Franklin. Tanner has tremendous experience, and he rarely ever loses to non-top fighters, so I think he'll take this one as well.


Blogger Swain said...

Any thoughts on fight of the night? I'm not envisioning the Arlovski fight being particularly competitive, and I'm not sure how much of a fight Forrest is going to put up. Whats your sleeper pick?

12:57 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I think the perception will be Griffin-Ortiz as the fight of the night, because the live crowd will be so into it that it will totally make the fight. Arlovsky-Sylvia will be fun while it lasts. But as far as entertaining, competitive fights, I think Diaz-Sherk, Parisyan-Thompson and Terrell-Smith are the best bets, in that order. It's a pretty deep card as far as recent UFCs go. So I don't get accused of ducking the question, my sleeper pick is Parisyan-Thompson. I don't think too many people are really expecting a lot from it, and I think it could be a really good competitive fight.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Josh Amendment said...

I think you're dead on in saying Tito/Forrest will look like Tito/Cote. I wouldn't be surprised if the crowd turns on Tito at some point.

Also, I think the general consensus is that Horn and Franklin are friends and occasional training partners, and they're unlikely to fight each other. I was really looking forward to Tanner/Horn regardless - it's a shame Horn got hurt.

7:13 PM  

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