Sunday, November 15, 2015

UFC 193: The Preacher's Daughter Rises!

David has defeated Goliath!  I am still amazed by Holly Holm's performance.  Not only did she beat the pound-for-pound best WMMA fighter of all time, but she crushed her in two rounds!

Down Goes Rousey!  Holly Holm Pulls Off The Biggest Upset In MMA History At UFC 193.  Photo From Yahoo!Sports

Humble pie never tasted so good!  Here are my thoughts on each fight of this awesome PPV:

Struve vs. Rosholt: As expected, Rosholt beat Struve.  As expected, it was terrible.  Rosholt won by taking Struve down and lying in side control for most of the fight.  Rosholt would be better off changing his name to "The Big Slow", to quote the Rock.  In contrast, if all Struve has in his fighting prime is "hit-and-stop" striking, then he needs to retire before he gets himself seriously hurt.

Winner: Jared "Big Show" Rosholt (unanimous decision)

Hall vs. Whitaker: The New Zealand workhorse looked great in this fight.  He was aggressive from the opening bell and kept Hall on the defensive with boxing combos in the first two rounds.  Even though Whitaker lost momentum in the second when the ref mistook a straight left that caught Hall in the eye for an eyepoke, he quickly regained it.  Whitaker was particularly dominant in Round 3, swarming Hall at the start and causing "Prime Time" to cover up and turn his back.  Other than a failed spinning attack in Round 1 that led to him falling on his back, Hall didn't do very much.  Let's just say that I am off the "Prime Time" hype train for good after another timid performance.

Winner: Robert Whitaker (unanimous decision)

Hunt vs. Silva: "Super Samoan" proved me wrong with a first round knockout of "Bigfoot." All Hunt needed was a straight right that glanced off Bigfoot's head and another right on the ground to claim the victory in this rematch.  On top of that, he thanked Jesus for his win, which I really appreciate.  Will he challenge for gold again?  Doubtful.  But I would like to see him fight one more time before riding off into the sunset.

Winner: Mark "Super Samoan" Hunt (KO)

Jedrzejczyk vs. Letourneau: Instead of the lopsided beatdown I expected, we got a competitive kickboxing match in which Jedrzejczyk edged out Letourneau with 1-2 combos, intermittent flurries, and leg kicks.  In my opinion, this was the "Fight of the Night" and both women should be proud of the show that they put on.

Winner (and still UFC women's strawweight champion): Joanna Jedrzejczyk (unanimous decision)

Rousey vs. Holm: The Preacher's Daughter Rises! The headkick KO I wished for came true, and I still can't believe it!  Even before that, Holm completely outclassed Rousey, catching her with straight lefts and a couple of elbows while using her footwork to get out of the way whenever the champ went "raging bull" on her.  She also outmuscled her in the clinch, only getting taken down once and successfully defending the armbar before getting back up.  The beginning of the end was when, in Round 2, Holm ducked and slipped away when Rousey tried to rush her again, and "Rowdy" slipped, almost going face first into the cage.  Then, after Holm shoved Rousey off when the champ tried to clinch with her again-



A left headkick to Rousey's jaw sent the pound-for-pound best WMMA fighter crashing to the canvas.  The hammerfists afterwards were merely a formality.  "The Preacher's Daughter" not only rose to the occasion, she completely dominated.  Everyone at Buffalo Wild Wings went crazy as we witnessed the biggest upset in MMA history.

Winner (and NEW UFC women's bantamweight champion): Holly "The Preacher's Daughter" Holm (KO)  



Saturday, November 14, 2015

UFC 193: My Predictions

"Holm won't last a minute against Rousey!"

That's what most people seem to believe, based on what I have read on the internet.  I do believe that Holm is overmatched and was rushed into this title shot too soon.  Nonetheless, I'm not convinced that Holm will wind up on Rousey's "60-second armbar highlight reel."  The main reason is that Holm reminds me of another challenger who shocked the world against a P4P great: Alexander Gustafsson, who brutalized Jon Jones en route to losing a controversial decision. 

Just like Gustafsson, Holm took decisions in her 2 previous fights and is now facing a champion who has run through the top fighters in the division like a lightsaber through stormtrooper armor.  Just like Gustafsson, Holm leap-frogged over someone else (Tate, in her case) who had earned the shot because she was a fresh challenge for the champion.  Just like Gustafsson, everyone assumes that Holm will be manhandled because she is a boxer with an unproven ground game up against an expert grappler with deadly submissions.  But in spite of this, just like Gustafsson, Holm doesn't seem intimidated by the champion or demoralized by the nay-sayers. 

Which is why I believe that, just like Gustafsson, Holm will shock the world and give her division's champion the fight of their life.  I'm not saying that she will win.  However, I do believe that the bout will end in a brutal, hard-fought decision.

Here are my predictions for each match on the card:

Struve vs. Rosholt:  Yes, Struve did beat Minotauro in his last fight.  But considering that the match resembled a ballroom dancing lesson more than a fight, I can confidently say that it was unimpressive.  This bout is probably going to be another grinding snoozefest, but with the healthier "Big Show" getting the victory with a decision.

Winner: Jared "Big Show" Rosholt

Hall vs. Whitaker:  Hall appears to have finally overcome his "Too nice to hurt people" mental block and seems willing to actually finish his fights now.  If that is the case, Whitaker will be knocked out by a spinning back kick within less than a minute.  Then Hall will be ready for a title eliminator to see if he can provide an interesting challenge to Weidman as the Jamaican Anderson Silva.

Winner: Uriah "Prime Time" Hall

Hunt vs. Silva:  At 41 and after brutal finishes by Werdum and Miocic, Hunt's comeback story seems to be at an end.  Due to age, I believe that Bigfoot will get the finish by KO in Round 2.  I just hope that this rematch isn't ruined by another failed drug test on his part.

Winner: Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva

Jedrzejczyk vs. Letourneau:  Letourneau's upset of Maryna Moroz was impressive.  Unfortunately, that was mostly because she outwrestled her, and Jedrzejcyk has elite takedown offensive.  This fight is staying on the feet, which is Jedrzejcyk's world, and she'll prove it by punching Letourneau unconscious within two rounds to win a "Knockout of the Night" bonus.
Winner: Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Rousey vs. Holm: Holm doesn't seem to have the power to finish Rousey with her hands.  Not to mention that her chin is suspect after she got dropped by a punch from Pennington in Round 3 of her UFC debut.  However, I do believe she has the takedown defense, footwork, and technical striking to be the matador to Rousey's raging bull for the first 2 rounds of the fight.  Nonetheless, through sheer aggression, I believe that, after getting picked apart in Rounds 1 and 2, Ronda will hurt Holm with a strong shot early in Round 3.  Then the champ will probably have Holm backpedaling for the rest of the fight, winning the decision on aggression and octagon control.
Nonetheless, I am still hoping for a fluke headkick KO by Holm, because I don't support champions who commit adultery (see this article on MMA Fighting to find out what I'm talking about).  

Winner: Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey