|A few days after I wrote my predictions for the first round of Prides Open-weight Grand Prix, I got a letter from a fellow fight fan. This fellow was kind enough to point out that I got most of the fights on that event totally wrong. He then, rather bluntly, asked if I knew anything about mixed martial arts at all and called into question my level of intelligence.
A few days after I wrote my predictions for the first round of Prides Open-weight Grand Prix, I got a letter from a fellow fight fan. This fellow was kind enough to point out that I got most of the fights on that event totally wrong. He then, rather bluntly, asked if I knew anything about mixed martial arts at all and called into question my level of intelligence. Then, and this is the part I think is very funny, there was an automatic e-mail signature at the bottom of the letter, which said that this person was an employee at a poisonous snake ranch. To this person, and those like him, I submit this humble reply: First, thank you for being so emotionally invested in my opinions that you would take the time to write a letter and point out what an idiot I am. However, and this may come as a shock to you, expecting to find well-thought-out comments in my predictions is as silly as watching a three-stooges marathon for the dry political debates, especially if, while reading my article, you are wearing a highly venomous cobra as a neck tie. It is in this spirit that I submit these even more potentially highly-inaccurate predictions - this time for the final round of the Pride Open weight Grand Prix.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Mirko Cro Cop
Normally, Silva has the advantage of being bigger, crazier and far more bloodthirsty than his opponent. Not this time. Youd have to cross a grizzly bear with Charles Manson to produce something more insane and dangerous than Cro Cop and even then the thing would probably just wander off into the forest to catch wild salmon and preach a life of devil-worship to them. Alas, I digress. Silva likely still has a size 13 foot-print in his ribs from his first fight with Cro Cop, and that was before the guy developed a decent sprawl. This time around? Boot to the head! Im thinking Cro Cop by decision.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Josh Barnett
There are certain fighters who you do not want to have in your guard; for the same reasons that you would not wander out onto an iceberg and throw your legs around a walrus. Ricco Rodriguez is one of them and, even though Big Nog was able to win the decision against him, theres no way he would want to repeat the experience which I can only imagine was akin to having some large, tusked sea-beast above you in the missionary position for fifteen minutes of nasty. Now he faces another fighter to not-be-under; Josh Barnett and, assuming Big Nog remembers the Rodriguez fight, hell very likely choose to box this time. Who wins this one? Im guessing Nog, by a decision, after Barnetts lungs blow up like the Hindenberg in round 3.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Mirko Cro Cop
Cro Cop has all the tools necessary to win this re-match. He kicks like a mule, punches like a donkey and his sprawl is deadly like a heart-attack. So will he win? No. Why not? Because Mirko Cro Cop is cursed to constantly snatch defeat from the mouth of success. In fact, there is a good chance that, despite his abilities, hell never get the belt. He knows this, and finds it a never-ending source of hellish frustration. Curiously, this is the fuel that drives him into those mindless fits of anger where he kicks opponents until they are within inches of death, with the same orgasmic fury that most people save for the coffee table they keep stubbing their toe on. Im not sure how, but I think Big Nog will win and advance to face Fedor; who will beat him again in the exact same manner as in each of their previous fights.
Emelianenko Aleksander vs. Sergey Kharitonov
There is something very, very disturbing about Aleksander Emelianenko. It might be the fact that he has a tattoo on his back of the grim reaper holding a freaky looking baby. Or maybe, its the fact that he has the round, pinchable cheeks of a Cabbage Patch kid, but the hollow, sunken eyes of a man whos seen one too many shank-fights in the Russian gulag mess hall. Also, he is ten feet tall. These things combined, I would probably wet my pants twice if I had to go within ten feet of him. Kharitonov should get a medal of bravery for even getting in the ring. Who wins? Curiously, I find myself leaning towards Kharitoniv. Aleksander might have the advantage when it comes to giving people a case of the willies, but Kharitonov is a better boxer and should win if he can avoid Aleksanders right hand - AKA the hammer of doom
Mauricio Shogun Rua vs. Cyrille the Snake Diabatte
Shogun lost to Mark Coleman by a freak injury. The injuries that Diabatte will suffer will also be freaky, but will not be accidental. The Snake is a kickboxer; so will very likely choose to stand with Shogun and trade strikes. Zut Alors! This will be his undoing and Shogun will win by KO. It is also possible that Shogun might submit him since jiu jitsu, much like courtesy to foreign visitors, is almost unheard of in France.
Ricardo Arona vs. Alistair Overeem
You dont have to be a rocket scientist to figure out Aronas game plan here. In fact, if you are a rocket scientist, you might even be less likely to know it, since you probably spend all your time studying rocket science instead of mixed martial arts. In fact, if I were to meet a rocket scientist who did know Aronas game plan, I wouldnt ride on any rockets they made, since theyve obviously been taking breaks from their rocket science studies to watch mixed martial arts which is admirable, but casts a shadow of doubt over the safety of their rockets. What am I saying? Overeem knows Arona will shoot, and will be looking for either a knee or guillotine to end the fight. Arona knows that Overeem knows this, and will therefore be able to take countermeasures against the flying Dutchman to win a decision.
Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Yoshihiro Nakao
Nakao is most famous, perhaps, for getting KOd by Heath Herring before their fight ever got underway. Because of that, no matter what happens in this fight, it will always play second-fiddle to the kiss of death. What will happen? KazNak will win by submission, without once feeling the tender touch of Nakaos lips on his own.
Yosuke Nishijima vs. Evangelista Cyborg
I will bet you a coupon for a free McChicken (with the purchase of your first McChicken and a drink) that Cyborg is not, as his name would have us believe, actually part robot. How could that be possible when Brazil is known mostly for beaches, crime and a certain style of crotch-waxing but certainly not the integration of human physiology with robot technology. Please tell me. I will give you a coupon for a free McFlurry (with the purchase of your first McFlurry and a drink). Who wins? Im guessing Nishijima, since his style of striking is more suited to winning in the ring, while Cyborgs style is more suited to winning a gang fight in a favela.
Ricardo the Mutant Morais vs. Lee Tae Hyun
Hyun is a Korean Ssrium champion. What is Ssruim? Apparently, it is a blend of judo and wrestling that incorporates neither striking nor submissions. Thats bad news for him, since Morais is exactly the kind of person who you would never want to find in your kitchen in the dead of the night, rummaging through your fridge while wearing fresh side-burns of low-fat sour cream. You are now guaranteed two (2) complimentary nightmares about exactly this topic. Who wins here? Ill go with Morais by fist in the face.