This Weekend aka The Big One: UFC 126 & Super Bowl XLV

Posted: February 5, 2011 by Davey Jacobson in Ducky D, MMA, NFL

Well, haven’t done one of these in a while. Might as well be for this weekend because let’s face it: SUPERBOWL WEEKEND IS UPON US! But before we get to the big game, let’s focus on tonight’s (Saturday) event, UFC 126.

vs.
ANDERSON SILVA VITOR BELFORT

PREDICTION: Silva by KO, round 2.
When I first heard that Vitor Belfort was coming back to the UFC to fight Anderson Silva, my initial thought was Hughes vs. Gracie 2 except it’ll be Anderson Silva playing the role of Matt Hughes while Vitor Belfort plays the role Royce (hoyse) Gracie. Don’t get wrong, I grew up watching the UFC since its inception and have witnessed countless match-ups fought by the legends and pioneers of mixed martial arts. But there’s one key difference between then and now: rules and sanctioned fights.

Royce Gracie became a legend for beating up guys twice his size BUT, however, he was allowed any tactics available in his arsenal. Same thing with Vitor: a man known for 1st round KO’s and a vicious set moves that he’d unleash within a blink of an eye. However, much like Gracie, he made his name during the days of few rules and using tactics that have since been banned by the UFC (e.g. wearing wrestling shoes, kicks with shoes both standing and on the ground, and knees to the head while on the ground just to name a few).

As much as I want to see Vitor beat the snot out of Silva, I just don’t know how up to par he is with today’s style of mixed martial arts. When Gracie fought Hughes, it was clearly evident of just how much this sport has evolved.

vs.
FORREST GRIFFIN RICH FRANKLIN

PREDICTION: Griffin by split-decision
This is definitely going to be a slugfest between two of today’s best brawlers. I don’t really know what else to say other than the only time this fight will be on the ground is probably midway through the 2nd round when they will have exhausted themselves from throwing so many punches. And even then, unless one of them is in guard or poised for a submission, the ref’s not going to let this fight turn into a grappling match. But…should this fight go to the ground, Griffin will have the edge. He’s a much better grappler (and has better endurance) than Franklin. We won’t see his ground game until somewhere in round 2. The longer this fight goes on, the more likely Forrest will be to win.

However, if this fight doesn’t go to the ground then Rich Franklin will have the edge. His striking abilities far exceed Griffin’s. Coming off wins over Wanderlei Silva and KO’ing Chuck Liddell, he’s poised to continue his winning streak as long as he controls where the fight goes. His strategy will be to keep the fight standing. Should he do so, he will walk out with the win but only if he’s able to KO Griffin in the 2nd round.

vs.
JON “BONES” JONES RYAN BADER

PREDICTION: Read the entire post. It’s complicated.
Here’s another great fight by two up-and-coming stars in the UFC. Jon “Bones” Jones is relatively new to mixed martial arts but in an incredibly short amount of time, he’s taken to MMA like a fish to water; a natural to say the least. Ryan Bader, Ultimate Fighter season 8 winner, will have his hands full tonight. Both are undefeated and both will not let this fight be left in the hands of the judges.

From what I’ve heard, I’m pretty sure that Bader will be the favorite to win this fight after coming off wins against Keith Jardine and Antonio Rogerio Noguiera (Minotauro Noguiera’s twin brother). However, BE WARNED IF YOU’RE THINKING OF PUTTING MONEY ON BADER. I say this because Jones is fast–very fast–in his striking and has much greater stamina than Bader. You couple that with Jones’ 84″ reach (longest in UFC history), Bader has to put this fight away as quick as humanly possible. He won’t be able to keep up with Jones should this fight reach round 3. MY PREDICTION: If Bader can’t put Jones away by round 2, Jones will win by either KO or decision.

FIRST ROUND PREDICTION: 10-9 Jones

  • Bader’s first 2 minutes will be spent trying to get the feel for Jones.
  • Jones’ first 2 minutes will be spent looking for opening in Bader’s stance and exploiting them will extreme sudden moves. I’m expecting at least 1 spinning backfist.
  • At minute 3, Bader will begin to implement his plan of attack and will do so for the remainder of the round. He’ll land a few punches while trying to swing for the fence. However, he won’t land a knockout because of the speed of Jones.

SECOND ROUND PREDICTION: Too Tough to Call.

The X Factor: Does Bader take the fight to the ground or stay standing?

SCENARIO #1Should the fight go to the ground: 10-9 Bader
Bader is smart and will have a better feel for Jones’ plan of attack. He’ll still continue to swing for the fence but will score more points off his ground game. He was an NCAA Wrestling All-American at Arizona State and should have no problem controlling the fight on the ground.

SCENARIO #2Fight remains standing: 10-9 Jones
Jones will land a few good punches during the first couple minutes of round 2. Bader will be able to defend a little better but won’t be able to keep up with Jones’ speed of attack. Jones will outpunch Bader.

SCENARIO #3Fight ends by one of these outcomes: (1) Bader by KO, (2) Jones by KO, or (3) Jones by submission [arm bar].

FINAL ROUND PREDICTION (if needed): Jones either by KO [2:33] or decision

SUPER BOWL XLV
As much as I would like to see Green Bay win the big one, I realize that I have more favorite players (e.g. Denis Dixon, Maurkice Pouncey, Arnaz Battle, Mike Wallace; NOT “Big Ben”) playing for the Steelers than the Packers (e.g. fellow SDSU alum, Brett Swain). So with that, GO PITTSBURGH!!!

I’ll comment more on this later but right now…IT’S TIME!!! . . . FOR UFC 126!

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