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The 'Natural' vs. 'Phenom'

silver1

TRIBE Member
UFC 46 : Supernatural is this weekend.

Anyone else hyped for Randy Couture vs. Vitor Belfort?

Randy was on a tear in 2003 disposing of top Light Heavyweights Chuck Liddell and literally spanking Tito Ortiz. And he's 40 years old!!!!!

Vitor made a bit of a comeback last year by literally destroying Marvin Eastman and leaving him with the nastiet cut I've seen in my life!

Is Belfort back to his old pounding ways??? Can the 40 year old Couture continue his dominance in the LHW division??? These questions will be answered this Saturday at UFC 46 : Supernatural.

Other fights on the card:

Walterweight title match:

BJ Penn vs Matt Hughes (c)
- DJ Penn is the top lightweight and he's going up a weight class to take on the "pound for pound most dominant MMA fighter in the world". Does BJ Penn have what it takes? Or is he just another sacrificial lamb for Hughes.

Frank Mir vs Wes Sims
- This is a rematch of the controversial fight at UFC 43 in which Sims grabbed the cage (illegal) and stomped on the head of the downed Mir (also illegal). It'll be a heavyweight battle of two giants.

Lee Murray vs Jorge Rivera

Josh Thomson vs Hermes Franca

Matt Serra vs Jeff Curran

Georges St. Pierre vs Karo Parisyan

Carlos Newton (York University student and top rated Walterweight fighter) vs Renato Verissimo

"Are you ready?..... Are YOU ready?....... Let's get it on!"
- Big Joe McCarthy
 
Stop Bill C-10

DeepSix

TRIBE Promoter
It'll be hard to pick who to root for in the main event, as I like both those fighters.

For once in a long time, UFC comes up with a card that surpasses the Pride card (the Feb card looks weak...)
 
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Dr. Grinch

TRIBE Member
Vitor hasn't proven himself IMO.
He's had a few lucky fights and thats it

Plus Couture has already beat him once, so I don't see why he couldn't do it again.

I'd also like to see him try and freight-train Silva the way he did back in the day. It would be fun to watch the Ax Murderer remove his head from his shoulders.

I think Penn is in trouble. Hughes is a tank, but not just muscular, the guy has raw power (he's a farmer by trade). I think Penn's gonna get fustigated.

Mir is a punk, with a bad attitude, but he can wrestle for sure. Sims is a nobody so far. Could be interesting, could be a walk for Mir.

I'm looking forward to seeing Carlos fight. Dude has all the makings of a champion, just needs to polish the skills a little.
 

DeepSix

TRIBE Promoter
I personally think that Couture will win - he's just riding the crest...Belfort otoh is climbing back up...but as they say "on any given night"...

I expect Vitor to come out guns a blazin', but Couture is just too savvy. Once it's in the clinch, it's just a matter of time.

and we'll see if age (Couture) and maturity (Belfort) play in this equation at all

(A W.Silva / Belfort rematch would definitely be near the tops of my wish list.)

---

Penn is outweighed and outmuscled - he's got 2 chances...slim and none haha

no really, he's got 2 chances

a) keep it standing (which has about a 1% chance of happening, given the raw take down prowess of Hughes)

b) sub while in guard (this could happen if he can weather the ground and pound storm that Hughes is likely to bring.

If Matt can get BJ's back anywhere near the cage (which is that other 99%), it may be history for BJ.

---

Mir/Sim rematch should be good...let's see if it goes the distance. I don't care much for either, but the whole grudge aspect makes it at least interesting :D

---

Of the prelims, I'm not sure which ones will be shown, but here's hoping that Karo gets seen...he was exciting in his last showing...Judo is an interesting mix in the MMA game.

---

And of course, Carlos. Rooting for the hometown boy of course. Want to see more striking out of him before he goes for the armbar!
 
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silver1

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by DeepSix

Of the prelims, I'm not sure which ones will be shown, but here's hoping that Karo gets seen...he was exciting in his last showing...Judo is an interesting mix in the MMA game.

UFC PPV MAIN CARD

- Vitor Belfort vs Randy Couture - MAIN EVENT - UFC Title

- BJ Penn vs Matt Hughes - UFC Title Fight

- Carlos Newton vs Renato Verissimo - (Swing Bout)

- Frank Mir vs Wes Sims - rematch

- Jorge Rivera vs Lee Murray

PRELIMINARY FIGHTS

- Matt Serra vs Jeff Curran

- Georges St. Pierre vs Karo Parisyan

- Hermes Franca vs Josh Thomson

If any of the prelim fights gets shown, I'm guessing that it will be Hermes Franca vs. Josh Thomson. UFC/Dana White is big on Franca and I bet they want to show him if they get the chance.
 

silver1

TRIBE Member
Two very cool articles about Randy Couture and Vitor Belfort respectively.

The Man to Beat
By Mick Hammond, MMA Weekly
Posted: January 23, 2004

As the MMA community prepares for UFC 46 on January 31st, the day prior to the Super Bowl, one man walks into the famed octagon for yet another battle, but this time he finds himself in an unfamiliar position, the favorite. It’s been a charmed year for Randy Couture; the man who once stood tall amongst the UFC’s heavyweight division as champion had seemingly dropped off the radar after a tough loss to Ricco Rodriguez at UFC 39. Battling injury and talk that perhaps “the grand old man of MMA” had finally grown too old for the “young man’s business of MMA,” Couture spent the majority of the first quarter of 2003 secluded from the MMA community.

As UFC 41 came to a close and yet another new UFC Heavyweight Champion was crowned, Couture, the man who had won the title an unprecedented two times, was signed for a match up at UFC 42 against Andre Arlovski. The fight was essentially created to further assess and move forward the development of the younger Arlovski as he was seemingly being poised for a title shot with Tim Sylvia. However, due to injury, Arlovski could not compete at UFC 42 and the match was scrubbed off the card. It seemed, as it had many times before, that the odds were again stacked against Couture as he was shelved as an afterthought.

Then came possibly the most influential series of events in the modern era of the UFC. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz bowed out of his obligations to defend his title against long-standing number one contender Chuck Liddell, creating a serious problem for the UFC. In a scramble to save a possible PR nightmare, the UFC knew it had to get Liddell into the spotlight, just in case Ortiz bolted for good leaving a gaping hole in his division a la Murilo Bustamante and Jens Pulver. The only problem was the fact that, despite the 205 pound division being one of the deepest in the entire world of MMA, the UFC had no one under contract who had made a significant push over the past year to legitimately challenge Liddell for a version of the championship.
The question at hand became, “Why not take a previous champion, someone with credentials, under contract, and someone who Liddell had more than a legitimate shot at beating?” The answer, obviously, became Randy Couture.

Couture for many years had been competing against naturally larger opponents in the heavyweight division and, in his last two fights against Rodriguez and Josh Barnett, it had become clear that a move down in weight could be beneficial to prolong his career. Couture agreed to drop the weight and, with the help of an intense training and diet program, he managed to shave 20 pounds off of his 6’ 1” frame in time for his match with Liddell at UFC 43 for the “interim” UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

Again however, most people within the MMA community felt this fight was much like his fight against Arlovski was set up to be, Couture putting up a good fight against a younger and seemingly superior fighter but ultimately losing, thus pushing the younger fighter up the ladder. Couture refused to be a stepping stone, however, and dominated the fight both on the ground and in Liddell’s territory, the stand-up game. It seemed there was some fight left in the old man yet.

Realizing his mistake in not fighting Liddell, Ortiz came out of his contract dispute and signed to face Couture at UFC 44 to unify the Light Heavyweight Championship. It appeared that Couture’s rainbow had found its end, everyone was thinking despite his dominance over Liddell, there was no way the old man could do it again. Ortiz had been the most dominant champion in the UFC during his reign and despite the fact he hadn’t fought in a year, he was seen as a more complete package than the striking-based Liddell was. But again, Couture had his own opinion and enforced it over 5 rounds of pure dominance that found him winning every round on every judge’s scorecard.

It appeared the charmed life of the quiet man from Oregon was going to continue for a while longer, but what was next? Ironically, the answer to that question had come the same night Couture silenced critics and shocked the world by out-striking Liddell. That answer, a man Couture had defeated over six years prior, Vitor Belfort.

Even though he was a previous two-time Heavyweight Champion, it’s hard to imagine, but the man who had beaten arguably the two best American fighters at 205 pounds, is only now being given the respect he deserves. And so it appears, after all the years of hard work, unrelenting perseverance, and uncompromising sportsmanship, the man who essentially won the Light Heavyweight Championship twice in three months is now the “the man to beat.”

But to keep the belt, he may be facing his most daunting task ever, a revitalized and focused Vitor Belfort, who in his last fight reminded the world why he is considered one of the best at 205 as well. Regardless of the recent events surrounding the disappearance of Belfort’s sister Priscila, you can bet that Vitor will be physically ready and may use his family’s situation to further fuel his competitive fire.

Couture has faced these types of challenges before and has never ceased to amaze, inspire, and reign supreme in the end. If he is defeated, he will accept it, with all the grace, poise, and dignity he has always shown in the past. If he wins, there will be only one question left remaining, “Mrs. Silva, can Wanderlei come out and play?”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Curse of the Brazilian Phenom
By Mick Hammond, MMA Weekly
Posted: January 21, 2004

Living up to one’s potential, it’s something we’ve all heard from those around us, especially those in authoritative positions such as teachers and parents and bosses. Doing the most with our creator given talents and using them to achieve something more than just the average. This has long been the expectation placed on Vitor Belfort. Ever since his UFC debut in February of 1997 there has been a mass of people hoping to see “The Phenom” rise to his potential and become the dominant champion we all thought he would be.

It seemed a lock considering he dominated his first four fights, racking up victories over the likes of Tra Telligman and Tank Abbott. In those fights, he’d shown everyone his trademark incredible handspeed, either knocking out his opponents or getting TKOs via stoppages from strikes. What made things even more impressive was, at a time when most fighters were closer to their 30’s, Belfort was a relative child racking up victories in his late teens and very early 20’s.

Then things got strangely mired within streaks of inconsistencies, lack of determination, freak accidents, and other issues outside of the ring, compounding together to lead people to wonder if Belfort, aside from having massive pressure on his shoulders, has some sort of cosmic jinx on him as well?
The first signs of the combined pressure and unexplainable lapses in ability were shown at UFC 15, ironically, he ran into the man that he’ll be facing at the UFC 46 show on January 31st, Randy Couture. Eight minutes into the fight, a consistent rain of strikes from Couture stopped an out-hustled Belfort; Vitor experienced his first setback. After the fight, onlookers where left to wonder where the Belfort of earlier UFCs had gone? Was he starting to buckle under the weight of expectation?

The setback, seemingly, was only temporary as Belfort won his next two fights including a 44 second annihilation of Chute Boxe kingpin Wanderlei Silva at UFC’s Ultimate Brazil show, in what is the latter’s most devastating defeat to date. For the time being, critics were silenced and the Belfort-express seemed back on track. Things were once again looking bright for the young phenom. That, however, would be the last time Belfort would be seen in the octagon for nearly 4 years.

With an outstanding record of 6-1-0, Belfort was invited to the fifth installment of the Pride Fighting Championships. His opponent was a quirky former pro wrestler turned MMA fighter with a 3-0-1 record named Kazushi Sakuraba. At this time, Sakuraba was in his pre “Gracie Hunter” days and was seen as a huge underdog to Belfort. Unfortunately for Vitor, he would taste defeat as he was mostly dominated. Sakuraba managed to keep Belfort at bay and on his back most of the time and almost made Vitor the victim of the now famous “Sakuraba Face Stomp.” After two 10-minute rounds, a judges’ decision was rendered against Vitor, yet another setback. Again questions arose, similar to those after his fight with Couture; for seemingly without explanation, Vitor slipped back into a temporary mire for the second time in four fights.

The ever-resilient Belfort would bounce back though, winning his next 4 fights for Pride over a 2 year span. However, he hardly seemed the dominant force he had been in his earlier days in the UFC. Mostly relying upon surprisingly slower hand speed and his experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to keep fighters at bay, Vitor managed to pull off 3 decision victories, but only 1 in-ring finish (a submission win over Bobby Southworth at Pride 13). Rumors abounded within the MMA community wondering if Belfort was taking his fighting seriously anymore or if he was simply going through the paces. Expectations shifted from him living up to his potential to him just living up to his previous work. Then came the call from the UFC.

Impressed with his success in Pride, his former employer decided it was time for “The Phenom” to return to action in the octagon. This time to face Light Heavyweight Champion and UFC poster boy Tito Ortiz at UFC 33. It finally seemed as if Vitor would get his long overdue shot at a championship belt, that’s when fate intervened. A freak accident in training forced Belfort to drop out of the fight. Belfort suffered a severe cut to his arm during training. During a sparring session, he somehow managed to slam up against a window, shattered the glass, and cut his arm. It was another setback as he ended up as a spectator watching Tito go on to defeat Vitor’s replacement, Vladimir Matyushenko, via unanimous decision.

It would be nine months before we would see Vitor return to action. In what was a first for the UFC, the company decided to hold a special non-PPV show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas in June of 2002. The main event, a number one contenders match between Vitor and “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell, with the winner being granted a shot at Tito Ortiz’s title. Finally, after months of waiting and rehabbing, it seemed as if Vitor would be given his chance to shine, all he had to do was defeat Liddell, but again, as fate would have it, Vitor’s road to gold took yet another detour.

In a fight highlighted by a lot of action, Vitor looked solid, but still not quite the Vitor of old. When he gained an early advantage by taking Liddell down, he was not able to capitalize on it. After standing the majority of the remainder of the fight, Belfort was dropped late in the third round by a hard right hand and finished on his back defending a flurry of Liddell punches. Draped in the Brazilian flag and looking the worse of the two, Vitor hung his head in disappointment as the judges’ decision was unanimous in the favor of Liddell, handing Vitor only the 3rd loss of his career.

After injuring himself in training again, Vitor would spend the majority of the next year away from the sport. Rumors of a possible retirement loomed as Vitor concentrated on other enterprises including a reality TV show with his wife. Things were looking as if the man who had once showed the potential of being the world’s best 205 pound fighter would end his career never living up to the massive expectations on his shoulders.

Then fate intervened once again, contract issues lead to Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell’s highly anticipated fight not happening. In a scramble to fill a championship void, the UFC signed Liddell, the man who last defeated Belfort, to fight Randy Couture, the man who had handed Vitor his first loss. The doorway to possibility opened once again to Vitor.

Feeling energized by his time off, a refocused and rededicated Belfort was signed on the undercard of UFC 43 to face King of the Cage veteran Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman, but questions still loomed heavy over Vitor. Would the Vitor of old show up, that once dominating and seemingly unstoppable force, or would the Vitor of recent show up, a fighter who seemed to have lost a step and seemed quite human?

Vitor himself answered those questions with a 67 second TKO destruction of Eastman that resulted in one of the worst cuts in UFC history. Right from the opening bell, Vitor was all over Marvin, landing punches almost at will and, after a wicked knee, Eastman went down and Vitor pounced. In what can only be described as a display of blinding speed, Vitor managed to land multiple punches to the downed Eastman in just a matter of seconds, causing the ref to stop the fight.

After the fight, a nearly teary-eyed Belfort proclaimed that the Vitor of old had returned and he was officially back. Also, during the post-fight happenings, one couldn’t help but notice UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta personally congratulating Vitor, shaking his hand and whispering something in his ear. It became quite clear in that moment that Vitor would be groomed for another title shot.

Fast forward to the present. Randy Couture managed to defy the odds, defeating both Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz to lay claim to the undisputed UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. In a match surprisingly announced at Pride’s Final Conflict show this past November, Randy Couture stated he would be defending his title against none other than Vitor Belfort at UFC 46.

But yet again, the strange aura surrounding Belfort’s career reared it’s ugly head as on January 9th, after being dropped off by her mother at work, Belfort’s sister Priscila went missing and has yet to be found. Instantly, thoughts went throughout the MMA community of “what could be next?” Why had a fighter who had seemingly had everything he needed for success in the ring been so cursed by fate to never have the right frame of mind when the pressure was on him to perform? With perhaps the gigantic pressure pushing down on him, Vitor decided rather than to put off his match-up with Couture, he would forge ahead through the shadows of doubt surrounding his sister and fight.

So the stage is set, going into UFC 46 there are as many questions as there are answers at this point. Can Vitor beat the man who defeated him over six years ago? Now at 26 is Vitor a better fighter than he was at 20? Is he truly back or will he go back into another lull that could see him lose possibly his last chance to achieve greatness? Is Vitor’s mind going to be set on the task at hand or will the looming cloud of his sister’s disappearance understandably distract him? Only Vitor himself will be able to answer these riddles and see if he can truly reach the pinnacle of the 205 pound weight class.

To do it, he’s going to have to fight the most complete fighter he’s ever faced, as well as battle his own personal demons in the process, this is truly his toughest challenge to date. If he succeeds, he’ll finally have realized his full potential and perhaps silenced his critics and put a fix on the jinx that continues to follow him around. If he fails, he may never get this shot again and we will be left wondering just who is Vitor Belfort? The man with skills unequaled who could not pull it together when the pressure was on or a fighter who, despite his best efforts, has something unearthly going against him in his struggle to succeed? Only one thing is for certain, this is Vitor Belfort’s time, for good or bad, his time is now.
 

silver1

TRIBE Member
I don't want to get ahead of myself or anything, because this weekend's lineup is awesome. But......

ufc47poster.jpg
 

R4V4G3D_SKU11S

TRIBE Member
This looks awesome!

I can't make it out after all though Tommy - my body is begging for some TLC from my Mom, so I'm headed home this weekend.
 

silver1

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by basic
This looks awesome!

I can't make it out after all though Tommy - my body is begging for some TLC from my Mom, so I'm headed home this weekend.

No worries Kev. Just don't miss the next one.

Chuck's gonna open a can of whoopass on Tito!
 
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silver1

TRIBE Member
WrestlingObservers preview of the event this weekend.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

UFC is another top heavy show. It has two solid main event level fights, an intriguing third match, and then a bunch of fights with solid, but relatively unknown competitors. It will be interesting to see how much of a draw Randy Couture is when not matched with Chuck Liddell or Tito Ortiz. The returns are good so far, as the buzz is strong for the show. MMA Weekly is reporting the show looks to sell out in advance, and that it will be a celebrity filled gala with James Caan, Sylvester Stallone, Paris Hilton, Jason Giambi, Frank Thomas, Chuck Norris and Forest Whitaker attending. I will take a look at the UFC card first, since it will air this Saturday and Pride will air February 8 so as to not collide with the Super Bowl.

UFC 46

Randy Couture vs. Vitor Belfort


Randy Couture returns to MMA action to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Title after a very successful 2003. He also returns to the position of favorite after occupying his comfortable status of underdog the past two fights. Couture has always performed better when the odds are against him, but he is rightfully being picked by most to win this fight. Couture’s takedown ability looked unstoppable against Ortiz and Liddell, and he was able to control those fights both standing and on the ground. His extremely impressive 9-2 UFC record was only blemished by losses to much larger men. Here he is against a man of a very similar size, and that is a big benefit. Also to Couture’s advantage is the fact he beat Belfort when Belfort seemed to be at his best. Belfort appeared to be an unstoppable force with lightning quick UFC wins over Tra Telligman, Scott Ferrozzo and Tank Abbott.
However, his rise to the top was abruptly stopped at the hands of Couture at UFC 15. Everyone was expecting a decisive win by Belfort, but it did not work out that way for him.

I reviewed that fight in preparation for the rematch. It was quite
interesting, because Couture’s game plan was similar to the one he employed against Chuck Liddell. Couture got into a boxing stance with Belfort early, and traded for a brief moment until he had an opportunity to take Belfort down. Belfort was very impressive in his takedown defense, and was able to block that. Couture repeated the process, boxing and then attempting a
takedown. Belfort blocked it again and they went to the clinch. When Belfort opened it up and went for a big punch, Couture got the takedown. Couture didn’t seem as proficient in ground and pound at the time, with fewer strikes and less impact. He just controlled the position and wore down Belfort. He finally got some big knees in from the north-south position, and then they went back to boxing. At that point, Belfort gassed and Couture
beat him with punches. Belfort just sort of lay down from fatigue, and Couture continued to rain in punches until the fight was stopped about eight minutes in.

A lot has changed since that fight, obviously. Belfort’s conditioning is much better now, as he was used to very brief fights at that point in time. However, Couture is a conditioning machine, and even at his age he probably has the advantage if it goes five rounds. Couture likely doesn’t fear Belfort’s strikes now as much as he did then, but that could be either a pro or a con. Couture’s advantage since that fight is that his ground and pound is much more devastating now. He has to concern Couture with submissions from the ground, or he will be in trouble.

Belfort is a BJJ practitioner by nature, but he has utilized his boxing skill as his greatest asset in MMA. He hasn’t proven to be able to use submissions as a weapon against top-flight competition. Couture is the only man who has ever stopped Belfort in MMA, as Belfort’s only other two losses were decision losses to Kazushi Sakuraba and Chuck Liddell. Belfort broke
into MMA at a very young age, and it remains to be seen if he has fully matured. Belfort’s best chance is to knock Couture off his game early with strikes. There is reason to believe Belfort might be able to do just that. He gave Marvin Eastman a Freddy vs. Jason type gash, and you can ask Wanderlei Silva about Belfort’s punching power. He also is fighting with added motivation after the tragic disappearance of his sister. Still, Couture is comfortable dealing with any challenge, and he has so much will to win. Couture’s the pick here.

My Pick: Randy Couture

Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn

This is the fight I am most looking forward to on either card, and probably for the wrong reasons. I’ve never been a big fan of B.J. Penn, and I am looking forward to him getting defeated. I wasn’t impressed with the effort in his last three UFC fights. It seemed after the Jens Pulver fight, B.J. Penn has been fighting not to lose. He was really hesitant in his fight against Paul Creighton, and it took him a lot longer to beat Creighton than it probably should have. He won a decision over Matt Serra that I thought he
should have lost, and then drew Caol Uno in a pair of fights where it just didn’t seem his old instinct was there. This is no knock on his skill level. Penn is a tremendously gifted fighter. Perhaps I just came to expect too much from him. In any event, stepping up to face Matt Hughes is a move that takes real guts.

In any event, this is a very bad fight for Penn. Penn is kind of the
uncrowned champion of the lightweight division after beating Takanori Gomi, but he has been in a lot of close fights of late. Meanwhile, Matt Hughes has just dominated everyone in the welterweight class. He has thirteen straight wins, including six in UFC against Carlos Newton, Hayato Sakurai, Gil Castillo, Sean Sherk and Frank Trigg. People have forgotten how good those
guys are because Hughes won with such ease. Now he is fighting a guy who is naturally smaller than him. Hughes’ game plan isn’t too hard to figure out. He is going to try to take down Penn, overpower him on the ground, and punish him for a TKO win. Penn is slick on the ground, but it is very hard to submit any of the Miletich fighters. Randy Couture spoke of Penn’s great strength recently after training with him, but can Penn be any stronger than Sean Sherk? Hughes has freakish strength. Penn’s best option against Hughes is thus the same as Belfort’s best option against Couture. He needs to come out swinging. Unfortunately, Penn hasn’t shown a willingness to do that against lighter competition than Hughes of late. The UFC welterweight Title would be quite the feather in the hat of Penn, but it just isn’t happening.

My Pick: Matt Hughes

Frank Mir vs. Wes Sims

This is the second rematch of the night, between two guys with very different styles. That made for an exciting, albeit brief fight at UFC 43. Mir went for a series of submissions, but Sims just kept on fighting out. After finally getting Mir in a vulnerable position, Sims decided to use illegal stomps and got disqualified. Sims is going to have Goldberg in his corner for this fight, but it would be more fitting if he got Kane. UFC has high hopes for both of these men, and a win for either would likely net them a heavyweight title opportunity down the line. Both still have to prove themselves, although they both have great potential.

Mir has amazing submission ability for someone of his size. He is 4-1 in UFC, but the wins were against unproven Roberto Traven, declining Pete Williams, overrated Tank Abbott, and disqualified Wes Sims. That isn’t to say that he isn’t going to be a world class fighter, but he hasn’t proven it yet. Sims has earned his nickname “The Project.” He trains with elite wrestlers in the Hammer House, but that also seems to be a breeding ground
for head cases. Sims screaming at the referee after UFC 43 was reminiscent of Kevin Randleman and Mark Coleman screaming at referees in the past. Sims has enormous potential given his physical frame and natural skills, but it remains to be seen if he will put it all together. Mir is rightfully the favorite here, because he has so many submissions against Sims. However, Sims showed excellent submission defense in their past fight, and he was able to power out of everything Mir went for. The problem is Mir will keep on pushing until he gets Sims. Sims is best suited to employ a strategy of overpowering and dominating his opponents, ala Coleman or Randleman. However, he just can’t get comfortable enough against Mir to really do that without getting caught.

My Pick: Frank Mir

Lee Murray vs. Jorge Rivera

I was really impressed by Jorge Rivera at UFC 44. He defeated the talented David Loiseau in a grueling dirty boxing match. Murray is another tough striker. The England native knocked out Pele and Amir in recent fights and had a well publicized brawl with Tito Ortiz during the UFC 38 weekend. The wild card is Murray’s submission ability, as he is solid on the ground if it
goes there. I look for the mild upset here, with Murray defeating Rivera and ensuring a return trip to UFC.

My Pick: Lee Murray

Carlos Newton vs. Renato Verissimo

This fight has the potential to be a great ground war. Verissimo has an extensive BJJ background and there are few better on the ground than Newton. Interestingly, despite his grappling background, Verissimo has achieved his early MMA success through TKO wins. The one that opened eyes was the win
over Gil Castillo, and this is a very important fight for him. Newton is comfortable fighting on the big stage against excellent opposition. This is his least accomplished opponent since 2000, and he beat the runner-up, Pete Spratt, very quickly. Newton is too smooth for Verissimo in my estimation.

My Pick: Carlos Newton

Hermes Franca vs. Josh Thomson

This is yet another intriguing clash of styles. Thomson can strike, and he can wrestle. Franca is heavily oriented towards jiu-jitsu, but he also has worked on his striking game. That is an important key to getting it to the ground on his terms. Franca is undefeated in MMA, and is coming off his biggest win against Caol Uno. It is important he not get too confident against Thomson, who knocked out Gerald Strebendt at the same show. This could go either way, but I favor Franca’s submission excellence. A win here
would make Franca one of the primary contenders if UFC ever brings back the Lightweight Title.

My Pick: Hermes Franca

Georges St. Pierre vs. Karo Parisyan

St. Pierre earned this fight by defeating the original opponent for
Parisyan, Pete Spratt, on a TKO card. I don’t like that policy at all. UFC fighters are being punished for trying to make a living by taking additional fights. I can understand if UFC wants to use that sort of policy for Randy Couture. They are paying him enough to where they should expect their main eventer to not lose on lesser shows. However, Spratt doesn’t get paid much by UFC, and they were slow to bring him back after his impressive win over Robbie Lawler. So he tries to supplement his income and gets punished. That’s not fair.

UFC still ends up with an interesting match, however. Parisyan has a judo background, and learned that from long time pro wrestling star and judo legend Gene LeBell. St. Pierre is more of a prototypical MMA fighter, with a well-rounded background in jiu-jitsu, wrestling and vale tudo. St. Pierre has never lost in MMA, while Parisyan’s only losses were against Sean Sherk. I think Parisyan’s greater overall MMA experience and previous UFC experience will be the difference here, as he seemed to confound at times even the very experienced Dave Strasser at UFC 44.

My Pick: Karo Parisyan

Matt Serra vs. Jeff Curran

I’m glad to see Serra back in UFC, as he is a pleasure to watch. He doesn’t like to engage standing, but he is wonderful on the ground. Unfortunately for Serra, his opponent for UFC 46 has been changed on numerous occasions. It was supposed to be Javier Vasquez, then Gerald Strebendt, and now Jeff Curran is taking the fight on short notice. Curran is an experienced fighter, but on a much smaller stage than UFC. He has fought few opponents of any note in Hook N Shoot, Extreme Challenge, SuperBrawl and elsewhere. His strategy most definitely will be to keep the fight standing, which is what everyone tries to do against Serra. The key is whether Curran’s strikes are strong enough to make Serra timid in going for takedowns. If that is the
case, Curran has the advantage. If not, it goes to Serra. I’m going with my heart here.

My Pick: Matt Serra
 

stir-fry

TRIBE Member
I was watching old UFC footage last night and man, that belfort guy is a asskicker!
I wanna watch this ppv this weekend really really badly!
 

stir-fry

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by silver1
Do you remember who it was that he fought?

It was from a new years special that my boss put onto vcd for me.. They recapped all the best fights ever in the UFC.. 5 cd's of goodness :)

I must have seen like 5 or 6 belfort fights..
can't remember all the guys he fought though :(
 
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voytek

TRIBE Member
^^^ THE ULTIMATE NEW YEAR'S EVE! 6 hrs!!! got it.


hyped, only if i get my sat card back in time. otherwise i will shoot myself. chicko vs chuck looks promising as well, though a loooong way off.

i wanna see belfort vs. baroni. that would be pretty hype...
 
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silver1

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by voytek

i wanna see belfort vs. baroni. that would be pretty hype...

I'd like to see that too but they're in different weight classes :(

Not to mention Baroni's year long suspension. (roid rage maybe? ;) )
 

redeyes

TRIBE Member
i haven't been this hyped about a fight in awhile. i'm pulling for vitor but i think couture is going to control the fight with his GNP and win by decision. either way, it's going to be a mad ruckus.

whatever happens, i hope they find vitor's sister, safe and sound.

peace
 

JMan

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by silver1
I'd like to see that too but they're in different weight classes :(

Not to mention Baroni's year long suspension. (roid rage maybe? ;) )


Ah, sometimes I long for a return to no-weight class freak-shows like that time the Kempo guy wailed on that huge sumo guy Emmanual Yarborough back in '94... I seem to remember counting about 40+ shots directly to the face... and then Yarborough stating afterwards that "I've never been hit flush before"... yipes, talk about rude awakening.

JMan
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by JMan
Ah, sometimes I long for a return to no-weight class freak-shows...

You should watch K1! ;)

They're big on the freakshow match-ups, like on NYE they had Bob Sapp vs. Akebono, a former sumo pro, and Genki Sudo (former pro wrestler) vs. Butterbean under MMA rules.

I only read about the matches though... a lot of the K1 stuff doesn't get shown on this side of the pacific.
 
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