Sunday, April 19, 2015

UFC on Fox 15: The Rise of Sir Rockhold, The Dragon Slayer

"Look, I did my part.  Weidman, you go do your part.  We're going to take this across the way.  Madison Square Garden.  Let's make history!"

That's what Luke Rockhold yelled during his post-fight interview, after a lopsided beatdown of Machida that would make Jon Jones envious. 

UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Rockhold

Rockhold may as well have worn a suit of armor to the octagon, because he brutally slew "The Dragon" known as Lyoto Machida to become only the third man to ever finish him.  Photo from Ryan McKinnell at Yahoo!Sports (Cagewriter): 

Here are my thoughts on each fight of UFC on Fox 15:

VanZant vs. Herrig: I honestly thought this was over when, after getting tossed with a headlock throw, Herrig took VanZant's back and almost got a rear naked choke in Round 1.  Fortunately, "12 Gauge" proved me wrong.  Not only did she escape, but she spent the rest of the fight either out-grappling Herrig to maintain top control or using ground-and-pound to neutralize her offensive guard before earning a clear-cut unanimous decision.  I don't feel that "12 Gauge" has earned a title shot just yet, but she has definitely proven herself worthy of a top-five opponent in her next outing.

Winner: Paige VanZant (unanimous decision)

Swanson vs. Holloway: Yeah, I think I should just move on from the whole "Lawrence vs. Holloway nutshot" controversy since Holloway not only demolished Swanson fair-and-square, but he also showed a lot of class after the fight.  Holloway picked Swanson apart with an excellent "stick-and-move" strategy, while also mixing it up with a spinning back kick, multiple body kicks, and a couple of flying knees.  He then put an exclamation point on his victory by grabbing Swanson and hurling him to the ground to make him tap with a guillotine from the mount.  Afterwards, he showed respect by checking on Swanson while he was recovering and, during his post-fight interview, thanked the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (who is also my Lord, by the way), for his victory.  I'm not ashamed to say that I will root for this young lion in the future, which I am very certain will involve a title shot in the shark tank which is the featherweight division.

Winner: Max Holloway (submission)

Souza vs. Camozzi: Another Round 1 submission (via armbar this time) and easy payday for Jacare.  Other than a "thank you" to Camozzi for stepping up on short notice, nothing else needs to be said.

Winner: Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (submission)

Rockhold vs. Machida:  If this victory didn't earn Rockhold a title shot, I don't know what will.  During the first round, Rockhold rocked Machida with a right hand and took him down, keeping back control for most of the round and going for a rear naked choke.  When the round was over, Machida looked like he was out on his feet as he wobbled over to his corner.  In Round 2, Rockhold softened Machida up some more with left jabs and body kicks.  Then he simply pushed him to the ground, pounded him with some elbows, and then flattened him out face-first on the canvas with double leg hooks before making him tap with a rear naked choke.  This pretty much crushed my hopes for the return of the Machida Era.  Whoever wins "Weidman vs. Belfort" better have been paying attention because Rockhold has once again proven that the loss he suffered in his UFC debut was a major fluke.

Winner: Luke Rockhold (submission)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

UFC on Fox 15: My substitute for UFC 186

Why am I not watching UFC 186, in spite of being a fan of "Mighty Mouse" and "The Count"?

Because I don't pay for squash matches.  That's why.

Demetrious Johnson's opponent, Kyochi Horiguchi, barely beat Louis Gaudinot in his last match, which was so terrible that I wrote "Who cares?" in my UFC notes regarding who won Round 3 and stopped paying attention.  I honestly believe he got this title shot because he is the only flyweight "Mighty Mouse" hasn't schooled yet.  On top of that, Michael Bisping is fighting C.B. Dolloway, whose best accomplishment so far has been that he was hand-picked by the UFC to be part of Lyoto Machida's KO highlight reel.  The only way I would consider going out to watch this PPV is if Davis vs. Kaufman was moved to the main event and that certainly isn't happening.  So I'll just watch that particular fight on the prelims at home and save my money.

At any rate, here are my predictions for the fight card I'm watching instead: UFC on Fox 15.  It not only has much better matches: it's also FREE!

Herrig vs. VanZant:  I'll be rooting for "12 gauge" here, but the fact is that she simply doesn't have enough experience to beat someone like "Lil' Bulldog" just yet.  I believe Herrig will sub her in Round 3.

Winner: Herrig

Swanson vs. Holloway: Swanson has had a lot more experience and success against the upper crust of the featherweight division than Holloway has, so I think he will batter Holloway from pillar-to-post for three rounds en route to a lopsided decision victory.

Winner: Swanson

Souza vs. Camozzi: First, I found out Yoel Romero got injured and had to bow out, which was a major disappointment.  Then I found out that the best replacement they could find was Chris Camozzi, whom Jacare has already subbed within one round, and I was even more disappointed.  Since Camozzi is on a four-fight skid, I don't see this ending any differently: another Round 1 sub and easy payday for Souza.

Winner: Souza

Rockhold vs. Machida:  Since my first black belt was in karate, I would love to see Machida win another UFC championship.  That being said, he and Rockhold (who has crushed Costas Philippou, Tim Boetsch, and Michael Bisping) are both evenly matched and Rockhold is 6 years younger.  I believe that Father Time will catch up to Machida in this fight and that he will drop a unanimous decision to the former Strikeforce middleweight champion, who will go on to challenge the winner of Weidman vs. Belfort.

Winner: Rockhold.   

My Answers To MMAMania's Five Burning Questions For UFC On Fox 15

Just for fun, I decided to write a blog response to "UFC on Fox 15 preview: Five burning questions for 'Machida vs Rockhold' in New Jersey", an article by Alex Schlinsky at

Here are my answers to the questions that he asks:

"5. With Joanne Calderwood's loss this past weekend, is Paige VanZant vs. Felice Herrig a No. 1 contender's bout?"

Probably.  Even though I think that Maryna Moroz deserves it more with her upset of Joanne Calderwood at UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop 2, the more popular, more charismatic (and let's just face it, prettier) female fighters tend to leapfrog the competition, regardless of skill or talent.  So I believe that Moroz will get snubbed and the winner of VanZant vs. Herrig will get the next title shot against Joanna Jedrzejcyk.

"4. Aljamain Sterling: A future title contender?"

The UFC better hope so.  Their bantamweight division desperately needs one.  Dillashaw and Barao seem miles ahead of the rest of the division.  I'm a huge Faber fan, but even I believe that he has had more than enough chances to prove he is the best and just doesn't have it in him.  And Cruz (who never actually lost his title to begin with) is too injury-prone to stay competitive.  I am all for bringing in any fighter who can prevent "Dillashaw vs. Barao V" from happening.

"3. Can Cub Swanson rebound from his difficult loss to Frankie Edgar, or will Max Holloway prove to be a top-five contender?"

Absolutely.  Swanson is a monster who was simply outmatched against Edgar.  I just hope that he is prepared for any "accidental" nutshots he might take against Holloway (watch Holloway's fight against Justin Lawrence and you will see what I am referring to).

"2. Does anyone care about Ronaldo Souza vs. Chris Camozzi?"

Let me think.  NO!

That's why I am hoping that, assuming that Souza and Michael Bisping defeat their opponents this month (which is highly probable), that "Jacare" answers the challenge that "The Count" issued to him over Instagram (see below).

"1. How well does Lyoto Machida match up with Luke Rockhold?"

Considering the age of these too middleweight standouts, not well enough, I'm afraid.  The surging Rockhold is 30 and in his prime, whereas Machida is 36, which is when most fighters lose their touch (and their chin).  I believe that this is the fight where Father Time finally catches up to Machida and he passes the torch to the next generation of champions.  Will he put up a valiant effort against the surging Rockhold? Absolutely.  Will he win?  I doubt it.   

Next post: My UFC on Fox 15 predictions (and why this event is my substitute for UFC 186)