This weekend, two mixed martial arts events will compete for the attention of fight fans. On Saturday, Zuffa opens the gates of the octagon to give us UFC 62. Then, on Sunday, Pride presents the second round of their Bushido Survival Tournament. Comparing the two events is like standing Paris Hilton next to a three-dollar hooker. The contrast is striking. ..
This weekend, two mixed martial arts events will compete for the attention of fight fans. On Saturday, Zuffa opens the gates of the octagon to give us UFC 62. Then, on Sunday, Pride presents the second round of their Bushido Survival Tournament. Comparing the two events is like standing Paris Hilton next to a three-dollar hooker. The contrast is striking. While one event seems dedicated to giving us a big show with top fighters from start to finish, the other seems content to wallow in the puddles of mediocrity; with two fights weve seen before and six more fights we dont have any interest in seeing for a first time. Does the UFC know that Pride is knocking on their door with a very, very big fist? I guess not, since the card for UFC 62 stinks like a dead skunk on a hot day. That being said, I will still watch it since, like pizza and sex, mixed martial arts is the kind of thing thats pretty good, even when its bad.
Chuck Liddell vs. Renato Babalu Sobral II (light-heavyweight title match)
Everyone has seen the footage of Chuck Liddell KOing Babalu at UFC 40 via a shin to the nostrils. Zuffa likes to show it every chance they get and even add computer-effects which show Sobrals skeleton lighting up in Blanka from Street Fighter 3 style when Liddell shin-blasts him in the face-bone. After that loss Babalu went on a killing spree that even postal workers consider a bit overboard. Liddell hasnt exactly been lying around eating pudding and whacking off. Hes knocked out his last five opponents. Thats almost more impressive than the fact hes dating Mandy Moore. Can Babalu do better this time? He cant do worse. My guess: Babalu submits Liddell, giving Zuffa an excuse to have another title re-match after (later this year) Liddel beats Wanderlei Silva by a questionably early ref stoppage which Silva will protest by saying, rather correctly, its the sort of thing that would never happen in Pride.
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar II
The UFC must be holding an internal wager to see how many re-matches they can have in a single year. At this rate, the UFC will be entirely re-matches by late 2008. Griffin vs. Bonnar part one looked like a couple of mental patients fighting over the remote control in the psych ward. Neither man knew fear, fatigue or pain; only rage and insanity. This time Bonnar will win a split decision, giving the UFC the only excuse they need for another f*king re-match.
Hermes Franca vs. Jamie Varner
Varner has a record of 11-1, and has submitted most of his opponents. Will he be able to tap Hermes Franca? Excuse me while I go laugh until I vomit on my new shoes. Varner may as well come into the cage with a bow tied around his head. He is a gift from Zuffa; and Franca will unwrap him in round one like a kid with Attention Deficit Disorder on Christmas Morning.
Alan The Talent Belcher vs. Yushin Okami
Belcher has beaten eight guys who, between them, have stitched together a total of 41 losses, with 29 wins. Okami has beaten 16 guys. They have a combined record of 169 wins and 129 losses. That means Belcher has beaten eight guys who win 41% of the time while Okami has beaten sixteen guys who win 56% of the time. Who is more likely to win here? According the calculations Im making, Okami has a 98.56% chance of winning by TKO in round two, I think.
Wilson Gouveia vs. Wes The Soldier Combs
Combs got into the UFC by KOing people outside of soup kitchens. In his first UFC fight, he lost by submission to Mike Nickels. Gouviea just lost a decision to Keith Jardine. My guess: Unless Combs brings his sidearm into the ring, Gouvia will win, likely by TKO in round three.
Josh Neer vs. Nick Diaz
Diaz has lost by decision to Sean Sherk, Joe Riggs, Diego Sanchez and Karo Parisyan. This is not good news, since Neer is like some hellish combination of those fighters, with an extra bit of Iowa farm-kid crazy-toughness. It is entirely possible that Diaz will catch Neer in a choke, but its equally possible that hell spend the entire fight tumbling around looking for it, while Neer pounds away on him like hes beating the dents out of an old truck. Neer by decision.
Cory Walmsley vs. David Heath
Walmsley might have a record of 7-1, but two of his wins are over a guy who is 7-25 and two more are over a guy who is 0-4. Heaths record is 5-0, but three of the people he has beaten have never won a fight. Who wins? Better question: Why are these guys in the UFC? Ill flip a coin and go with Heath to continue his unbeaten streak.
Cheick Kongo vs. Christian Wellisch
Kongo is a striker from Holland, who has fought mostly other strikers from Holland. Wellisch is neither a striker nor is he from Holland. In fact, hes a wrestler from Los Angeles, which is about as far from being a striker from Holland as you can get, unless you are a yodeling nun from Australia. That has to wait til UFC 63. My guess: Wellisch by decision.
Rob MacDonald vs. Eric Schafer
Schafer is a jiu jitsu brown belt, with three wins by submission. The really funny thing about submissions is that you have to get a takedown before you can do them. Will this fight go to the ground? That is up to MacDonald and he will choose one of two answers, neither of which are good for Schafer; those being No or Yes, but with me on top. MacDonald by TKO.