With UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun set to broadcast live on pay-per-view on May 8th from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, it is time for the MMAFrenzy staff to try our hardest not to look like fools with our predictions for Saturday night’s fights, so here we go.
Lyoto Machida (c) vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua:
Justin – I expect that both men will have made some changes to their game plan from the last fight, but some elements will still be the same. I think Rua will still look to take away Machida’s legs with leg kicks, and Machida will still look to answer with punches, but he will expect more kicks. We also may see more of both men’s ground games in this fight than we did in their first meeting. Going into the first fight, most people (myself included) expected Rua to get way outclassed, and he surprised them. That makes this fight hard to predict. The first fight was so close, this fight really comes down to who has adjusted better from their last meeting. I Personally believe that some of the issues that arose for Machida from his new found stardom affected his training last time out, and he will be much better prepared this time. I predict Machida to win via third round TKO.
bsbiz – In what could only be described as a candidate for Understatement of the Year, Lyoto Machida’s first title defense generated a little discussion on the Intartubez. In fact, just to stir it up a little, I had scored the fight for Rua, but remember thinking that Machida had won. We shall see what happens. Oh wait, that’s what this is for, isn’t it? Heh. That was a little embarrassing. I have never seen Rua be as effective anywhere soccer kicks and “Japanese strength trainers” weren’t legal, so the question begs to be asked: Was that simply him having the fight of his UFC life, or has he found a new level? If the former is true, then Machida is going to lay a hurtin’ on him. If the latter, we could be in for an epic fight just like last time. Rua will use the strategy he used last time: leg kicks, leg kicks, leg kicks, then close in the last minute of the round and try to tie up Machida then do some damage. Machida, on the other hand, will have to check the kicks (or catch them), then do what he do. I see this actually being a ground based fight with at least one bad stand up (three if it’s the Mazz) thrown in for good measure. Machida by Arm Triangle in 3rd.
Chrisl – Whereas the last fight was more of a K-1 fight, I expect this one to see more ground action. I have a sneaking suspicion that Lyoto has been talking with his friend Anderson about catching kicks. I think Lyoto looks to get this to the ground if he is unable to solve the riddle of Rua’s Muay Thai. With that in mind, Rua is very good on the ground and has good takedown defense. Therefore, I only see Machida scoring a takedown if he is able to catch a kick. In addition, if Machida does fail in an attempt to get it to the ground I see Rua countering with a takedown of his own. I think by the championship rounds the takedowns will be out the window and we see Karate v. Muay Thai 2. I expect that Machida’s strategy will be much better the second time around, and I think that will be the difference. That said… if anyone can score a takedown they would most likely win the fight. I know that’s vague but this is a tough fight to call. I am a fan of both but I am giving the slight edge to Machida because I think he will have a better plan this time around. Machida by razor thin decision… again.
FR702 – AND THE NEW LHW CHAMPION of the WORLD Mauricio “Shogun” Rua by split decision in an epic back and forth battle, get prepaired for Shogun v Dragon III some day soon perhaps early 2011
Paul Daley vs. Josh Koscheck:
Justin – Both of these fighter possess knock out power, but Daley has previously shown to have the better chin. Koscheck has incredible wrestling, and the ability to dictate where the fight takes place, however Daley was able to defend Jake Shields’ takedowns when they met better than Dan Henderson was last month. One key factor that could determine how this fight goes is if Koscheck’s ego convinces him to stand with Daley, or if he will try to take the fight to his strength and make it a wrestling match. If Koscheck makes it a wrestling match it will greatly improve his chances of victory, but if he decides to depend on his hands his night will end looking up at the lights. I know that Daley has been working extensively on his takedown defense, and I’m actually going to predict that Daley is able to keep the fight standing long enough to land a left hook and put Koscheck out in the second round, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m completely wrong.
bsbiz -For those of you who just crawled out of a cave in time to catch this fight, Kos and Daley don’t really like each other. However, Daley went the extra mile and entertained a competition to use Photoshop on Koscheck. This was the winning photo. The key to this fight will be Koscheck’s head. If it’s screwed on straight Saturday night, he will do his best to take the fight to the ground and proceed with the grounding and pounding. Although the problem for Kos will be the same one that Urijah Faber had a couple weeks ago: getting past Daley’s strikes to land the takedown. If Daley’s trash talking has done its job and gotten into Kos’ head and poked his ego, prompting Kos to try to stand and slug, he’ll get tagged eventually with that evil left hook. To further the intrigue, the winner will get GSP next. Will that specter hang over the cage? If it does and distracts either fighter, they will lose. Daley by KO in 2nd.
Chrisl – With everyone expecting early fireworks from both fighters I have a feeling this one will end up lasting longer than most expect which will be to the chagrin of most people. I think Kos plays it smart and actually avoids the big exchanges and goes for takedowns early and often. This will help avoid Semtex’s deadly striking in addition to keeping Semtex from being able to plant his feet. On the ground, I think Semtex makes too many mistakes in attempting to get the fight into scrambles on the ground rather than being a patient fighter. Due to this, I think Kos eventually secures mount in the second with Daley giving up his back and succumbing to a rear naked choke in the 2nd.
FR702 – KOS by wrestling and subing Daley (part of me wants Daley to knock KOS’ block off to be honest)
Jeremy Stephens vs. Sam Stout:
Justin – Stephens and Stout are both brawlers with decent ground games. Stephens has shown knockout power that Stout hasn’t really demonstrated before, but Stout has shown that he has the chin to withstand some shots. This fight as “Fight of the Night” potential written all over it, but I expect Stout to manage a unanimous decision victory over Stephens.
bsbiz -If Jeremy Stephens doesn’t want to get out-pointed, he’d better take it to the ground. Sam Stout is a supposed world-class kick boxer, but doesn’t have much pop in his punches. Stephens by UD.
Chrisl – Yet another match-up that could be a lot of fun to watch, I believe this will be a fast paced fight from start to finish. I expect that Stout will control the pace and eventually overwhelm Stephens with better technique on the way to unanimous decision.
FR702 – Stout by lethal jab.
Kimbo Slice vs. Matt Mitrione:
Justin – This is a bout between contestants on “The Ultimate Fighter” season 10, both fighters have good striking and knockout power, and both fighters have some ground skills. This will really be a test to see just how far along Slice’s progression as an MMA fighter has come. I believe Mitrione will come in expecting a standing battle, but Slice will look to take this down and work his new and improved ground game. If the fight goes long enough, I expect to see at least one “Kimbo Plex” a la his fight with Houston Alexander, and I’m actually going to pick Slice to win either by ground ‘n pound TKO, or shock of all shocks a submission (I’m guessing arm triangle) probably in the second round.
bsbiz - I’ll admit it. I enjoy Kimbo in the UFC. It’s not really about the fighting, though. Yeah, he’s got KO power in those hands and from all accounts is a sponge for MMA knowledge. I want him around for a long time because Dana has finally found someone who makes Joe Rogan sound like a classically trained Shakespearean actor. From talking about the city of Japan to his interview with Rogan after he knocked Houston Alexander off his unicycle (Joe: Tell us about the experience of being in the house, and then going from fighting in EliteXC, to fighting in the UFC house, then finally getting a victory in the UFC. How are you feeling? Kimbo: I’m feeling pretty good. The house was a good experience. It was very mental than anything.), I can’t help but giggle every time the big lug gets in front of a microphone. This fight really boils down to who gasses first and whose chin holds up under the pounding of the fury. The great unknown will be whether Kimbo attempts a takedown and if he does, will he have any idea how to fight in Mitrione’s guard (if he has one). I would probably jump up and down and giggle (maybe even cackle) if Kimbo wins by submission other than strikes. If he even tries, I may do a shot. God help us all if this goes to a decision. Those second and third rounds would be brutal. Kimbo by TKO 1st.
Chrisl - Everyone rips Kimbo for his past and I will admit to being one of the biggest Kimbo detractors but that said, he has proven himself a dedicated student of the game since coming over to the UFC. From what I have seen of his training videos, he is actually learning some technique too. That in combination with his natural strength and athleticism (after all he was signed by the ‘Canes before Andrew hit and he was replaced by Ray Lewis) makes him exceptionally dangerous. Mitrione is also a good athlete but is more a throwback to early brawling heavyweights. I think Kimbo continues to play it smart and connects early and finishes “Meat head” early in the 1st.
FR702 – Mitrione by (t)ko’ing a gassed Ferguson.
Patrick Cote vs. Alan Belcher:
Justin – Cote was last in action over a year and a half ago where he suffered a TKO (injury) loss to Anderson Silva. Since that time he has had two knee surgeries on the same knee, but says he is 100% and ready to go. I believe Cote is the better fighter, with the broader tool set and better chin, but Belcher is certainly no slouch and has shown great improvement in his skills of late. However one deciding factor could be how much ring rust Cote has from the lay off. I’m going to predict Cote by split decision, but it very well could go to Belcher in the same manner. This will probably be such a close fight that people may accuse the victor of perpetrating “teh(intentional) robbery”
bsbiz -It’s the chin of granite vs an ugly but still cool Johnny Cash tattoo. I don’t see how Cote is in shape for this fight physically. Yes, I’m sure he’s trained his butt off, but there’s a difference between being in training shape and being in fighting shape. Belcher would be wise to push the pace as hard as he can and grind out a decision. Or put Cote on his back and force him to defend. Belcher by UD. It is really good, however, to see that Cote has finally recovered from that nasty knee injury suffered against A. Silva.
Chrisl - Well this fight has been a long-time coming. A lot depends on the amount of cage rust Cote has. That said Belcher has been absolute dynamite in the cage as of late. I hope Cote can prove me wrong but the lay-off in combination with Belcher being a lot to handle I believe proves too much. I think Cote’s rust shows and Belcher wins this fight by TKO in the 2nd. As a side note, if Cote is able to fight in good shape… then this could very well be fight of the night.
FR702 – Belcher by leg kicks (t)ko third round.
PRELIMINARY CARD QUICK PICKS
- Tom Lawlor vs. Joe Doerksen: Lawlor by first round TKO.
- Jonathan Goulet vs. Marcus Davis: Davis by first round TKO.
- TJ Grant vs. Johny Hendricks: Hendricks by second round TKO.
- Joey Beltran vs. Tim Hague: Hague by first round submission.
- Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Mike Guymon: Yoshida by unanimous decision.
- Jason MacDonald vs. John Salter: MacDonald by first round submission.
- Tom Lawlor vs. Joe Doerksen: It’s gonna be a “Dirty” fight. Lawlor by sub.
- Jonathan Goulet vs. Marcus Davis: The Irish Hand Grenade explodes on Goulet. Davis by TKO.
- TJ Grant vs. Johny Hendricks: Grant by UD.
- Joey Beltran vs. Tim Hague: Beltran by “Mexecution” in first.
- Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Mike Guymon: Yoshida by strikes in third.
- Jason MacDonald vs. John Salter: MacDonald by submission in the first.
- Tom Lawlor vs. Joe Doerksen: Lawlor by TKO early
- Jonathan Goulet vs. Marcus Davis: Davis picks up a possible job saving victory by decision
- TJ Grant vs. Johny Hendricks: Hendricks overwhelms Grant and finishes him with strikes in the first. (Go Pokes)
- Joey Beltran vs. Tim Hague: Beltran by KO over Hague, I just don’t think Hague will be this ready on short notice
- Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Mike Guymon: Joker by TKO in the 2nd.
- Jason MacDonald vs. John Salter: MacDonald by submission in the first.
- Tom Lawlor vs. Joe Doerksen: Lawlor by epic entrance
- Jonathan Goulet vs. Marcus Davis: Marcus Davis by (t)ko first round, now I know Goulet choked out a pitbull but the pitbull didn’t hit him first..
- TJ Grant vs. Johny Hendricks: Hendricks by (t)ko first round
- Joey Beltran vs. Tim Hague: Beltran by UD
- Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Mike Guymon: I’m going to pick Guymon by Split Decision in this one for no good reason….
- Jason MacDonald vs. John Salter: MacDonald make a triumphant return to the octagon with a second round submission of Salter
Not my best predicitions but I’m crazy pressed for time on this one, apologies to all have a great UFC 113