Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks
Friday, April 25, 2003
Mixed Martial Arts--- Brief UFC 42 Predictions
I'm picking Matt Hughes to beat Sean Sherk and retain his UFC Welterweight Title. I think we're going to see one of three things in this fight: A) Hughes wins in dominant fashion, B) Hughes wins a back-and-forth battle, or C) Sherk wins a back-and-forth battle. I don't think Sherk is going to dominate Hughes, and I think the most likely scenario is, "Hughes wins a back-and-forth battle." I find it hard to believe that Hughes is going to get tired in the later rounds, or have too many problems striking with his big reach advantage over Sherk. Despite the buzz coming out of Miami that Hughes is unprepared for the fight tonight, I'm picking Hughes to win by TKO in the fourth round.
I'm picking Robbie Lawler to beat Pete Spratt. Where are all these people coming from who are saying, "Spratt's stand-up game is so much better than Lawler's"? Since when? Spratt is a very good fighter, but I'm not buying that he's head and shoulders above Robbie Lawler at kickboxing. Lawler could win this fight on the ground if Spratt is overmatched in submissions like he was against Carlos Newton, or either fighter could knock the other one out. Spratt needs to keep moving and try to hurt Lawler with leg kicks, but ultimately I'm picking Lawler to come out on top. This one could end quickly if both fighters come out swinging.
I'm picking Evan Tanner to beat Rich Franklin. The majority of the MMA media is picking Franklin to win, despite the fact that it's his UFC debut. I know he's undefeated, but those wins haven't come against anywhere near the level of talent that Evan Tanner has been fighting and beating for years. This was the hardest fight on the card for me to pick, because I do think that Franklin is going to be a star in the UFC... I just don't think it's going to happen tonight. A lot of people underestimate Tanner's submission game and stand-up skills. This is going to be a close one, but I'm picking Tanner to win.
I'm picking Wes "Cabbage" Correira to beat Sean Alvarez. Cabbage's performance against Tim Sylvia was impressive at the time, as he lasted almost 15 minutes absorbing an insane amount of punishment while fighting his heart out... and Cabbage's performance became all the more impressive after Tim Sylvia's next fight, in which he dominated and knocked out Ricco Rodriguez in 90 seconds to become the new UFC Heavyweight Champion. Alvarez is primarily a submission wrestler from Abu Dhabi tournaments, and he has more experience getting knocked out in MMA than he does winning fights in MMA. I think Alvarez is going to lose even if he's smart and tries to take the fight to the ground, but if he really tries to stand up and bang with Cabbage like he's claiming, we might be seeing a brutal knockout. Cabbage by KO.
I'm picking Genki Sudo to beat Duane "Bang" Ludwig. Maybe they had no other choice, but it's very questionable matchmaking for the UFC to put Ludwig against a submission specialist like Sudo in his UFC debut. Ludwig is an extremely dangerous kickboxer who will be the first to tell you that he knows almost nothing about ground fighting. Sudo is going to take Ludwig down and submit him, and it could happen very quickly. My only reservation with this pick is that Sudo has been telling people today that he's a kickboxer, too, and that he might try to stand up and trade strikes with Ludwig. If that happens, Ludwig is going to knock him out. I think the more likely scenario is that common sense will prevail in Sudo's game-plan, and he will pick up the submission victory.
I'm picking Mark Weir to beat David Loiseau. This was the hardest fight on the show for me to pick outside of Tanner vs. Franklin. Both of these guys have similar styles and similar win-loss records. The majority of the MMA media is going with Loiseau, but I'm picking Weir because he has experience in the UFC, he looked very impressive even in his loss to Phillip Miller, and he has finished a lot of fights throughout his career with both knockouts and submissions. This should be a great fight because both guys are so versatile. I have no idea how or when it's going to happen, but I'm picking Weir to win this one. Here's hoping that both of these fighters are brought back to the UFC in the future regardless of who wins.
I'm picking Rich Crunkilton to beat Hermes Franca. Franca is 6-0 and has won all six fights via submission, but not a single one of his opponents has a winning record in MMA. On the other hand, Crunkilton has submitted Jiu-Jitsu black belts, and also has knockout potential in every fight. Surprisingly, this fight has more buzz around it than any other fight on this show, with both fighters supposedly being very exciting and looking to make an impression in their UFC debuts. I'm picking Crunkilton because he's so versatile, he has more experience, and his quality of opponents has been higher than Franca's.
Finally, I'm picking Romie Aram to beat David Strasser. Both guys are making their UFC debuts, and I don't know much about them other than the fact that Aram is a young up-and-comer with a lot of potential, and Strasser is a guy who wins most of his fights, but usually does so in a slow and boring fashion. There's nothing wrong with being "boring" as long as you get the win, but I don't think Aram is going to let Strasser get away with keeping the fight at a methodical pace. I see Aram pressing the fight and winning in what could be the start of a very good UFC career.