Saturday night is UFC 111. GSP`s first fight since last July when he defeated Thiago Alves at UFC 100. (I was there!) For anyone interested, some club folks are headed to Shaughnessy`s in downtown Sudbury. (no cover at the door & 25 cent wings)
I`m not sure if I`ll be going myself, but we`ll see. I`ll be playing it by ear.
Either way, I`m excited for this card. The first fight sees Toronto based fighter Mark Bocek vs Jim Miller (Renzo Gracie black belt from New Jersey) It`s safe to say Bocek will be walking into hostile territory when he makes his way to the octagon at the Prudential Center in Newark. Both these guys have solid ground games, so I`m predicting a submission victory, though I`m not sure who will be the first to pull it off. It should be a close fight.
The second fight is a rematch from a few years back between Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch. Alves is looking to avenge the loss from that meeting. A win for either fighter puts them back in the mix for a shot at the champion.
Ben Saunders vs Jake Ellenberger should be ok. Saunders has awesome Muay Thai and reminds me of what Brandon Vera was supposed to become at heavyweight when he was hyped as the next big thing. I would have preferred to see Ricardo Almeida vs Matt Brown on the main card, but my understanding is that fight will be featured on the free lead in show on Spike. All is not lost.
That brings us to the co-main event. Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin. This one is for the interim Heavyweight title which can be confusing to some. When it was first announced, Brock Lesnar`s health was unclear and with no apparent title defense in sight, the UFC opted to make this fight for an interim belt and if Brock was done, the interim tag would have been dropped. With Brock back and gearing up to fight at UFC 116 on July 3rd, this fight is basically a number one contender fight to determine Lesnar`s opponent. I`m glad they`re doing it this way, it makes it a 5 round fight. With that said, Carwin has never gone past the 2 minute mark of round 1 in any of his 11 fights. (all wins)
Frank Mir is very well spoken, but sometimes his gift for words has betrayed him and his remarks have made him look bad. (google his comments on Lesnar to see what I`m getting at). He`s a good fighter, but his arrogance makes it easy to pull for Carwin to win. Although I`d love to see Lesnar beat up Mir again (did I mention I was in attendance for UFC 100?) seeing Lesnar vs Carwin would be an epic battle of the new breed of heavyweights. A true clash of the Titans.
On to the main event. Not much needs to be said, I don`t think Dan Hardy is anywhere near GSP`s level as a fighter. (those are few and far between) Hardy has a punchers chance, but that`s it. I`m predicting domination by Canada`s golden boy. WAR GSP!!
In other news, I picked up the new UFC magazine tonight. There`s another great interview with Renzo Gracie. He talks about the evolution of MMA from its roots in Brazil to Japan to today`s mainstream acceptance in North America. He jokes that it`s great to see Quinton Jackson making a move to Hollywood. He`s surprised that MMA fighter`s have been able to cross over before pornstars. He was sure that Jenna Jameson would be doing regular films before Rampage Jackson. haha!
Had another good night at the club. We worked on the De La Riva guard & sweeps. Here`s a quick clip of the man himself showing one of many sweeps available from this position.
Stay healthy my friends!