Saturday, December 10, 2011

UFC 140 Preview and Predictions

Written by Andrew Consiglio

Andrew Consiglio contributes his MMA expertise to  He has a wealth of
 MMA knowledge and will lend his MMA 
analysis to my site periodically.   

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship Match

Jonny Bones Jones vs. Lyoto Machida
This weekends heavily anticipated matchup in UFC features Jonny Bones Jones and Lyoto Machida. Lyoto Machida made a run, tearing through the division and taking out a highly touted Thiago Silva. He then captured the belt from Evans in a fantastic display of takedown defense and timing. Since losing the belt in brutal fashion, he was been on a journey to recapture the gold. On the other side is the young, talented Jon Jones, who has walked through every challenge thrown his way, with relative ease. Stylistic wise, this will be interesting. Jon Jones is tall for a light heavyweight, with long limbs as shown in his last fight with Rampage Jackson, where he kept his arms out in a way similar to how Shogun does. He also kept his distance, a display of leg kicks that left his hard hitting opponent from landing any power strikes against him. Jon Jones is a fantastic wrestler who has taken down every single person he has faced. The only person who has ever stuffed one of his takedowns was Quinton Rampage Jackson. His takedown defense in the octagon sits at 100 percent with never being put on his own back. So how does Machida bring something to the table that no other person has been able to? 
Machida is an elusive fighter who has a karate stance and unorthodox striking. Unlike any other opponent he keeps his distance and has excellent timing. He throws punches unlike any other. He has a hard hitting straight left that he throws which is normally set up by his excellent kicks to the legs and midsection. While charging forward he also likes to lunge with a knee. He has a killer instinct and knows when to attack. When he knocked out Evans he was relentless. When Jackson was hurt he flurried with kicks and punches. On another note he has excellent takedown defense himself, stopping Rashad Evans and many others. With so much to offer though I do not see him winning and that is based on one fact, Jon Jones ability to use that long reach. We saw him duck, sprint, and weave out of danger from Ryan Bader to Rampage Jackson. While getting hit more and taking some punishment from Machida, more than any other fighter he has faced, the outcome will be the same.  Jon Jones will catch him off guard with his own takedown and grind out a TKO to retain the title. However with that said, because of all the attributes I listed for Machida, if he were able to win, it will go down in the second round with lunging straights and lefts knocking out Jon Jones.

Frank Mir vs Antonio Nogueria
Frank Mir vs Antonio Nogueria is a rematch from a 2008 match, in which Mir knocked out the former champ in an interim title fight between the two. That fight showcased a stand up game displayed by Frank Mir. Nogueria, who has always stood with little head movement, has paid the price for it over his long fighting career. A man known for taking all the abuse in the world and never being able to be finished was finished in their first fight. He was then completely demolished by Cain Velasquez.
Going into the Schuab fight, I was sure he was going to get Tko'd again but he shocked the world by absorbing some powerful blows and scoring a knockout. Frank Mir though is slowly climbing the ladder to retain a title shot. After a knockout over Mirko Cro Cop and a dominate decision win against Roy Nelson, he is on a winning streak and it won't be stopped in this rematch. Frank Mir has only gotten better in the stand up game and sadly I see this fight playing out the same way that the first one did. Look for Mir to be bouncing around on his feet and picking his shots, dropping Nogueria in the first round. He will finish him in the 2nd in a classic repeat, almost identical to the first one. I don't expect to see that much BJJ being used in this fight especially since Mir knows that he can beat him on the feet. 

Tito Ortiz vs. Lil Nog
Tito Ortiz Vs Lil Nog is another great fight with good action. Tito Ortiz has rebounded after a long drought in his career and notched a win against Ryan Bader. This led up to a rematch with Rashad Evans that he took on a few weeks notice and lost, so that will be overlooked since he stepped up when others didn't. However father time has not been nice to Tito Ortiz who has already had a lot of surgeries in the past which has seemed to take a toll on his wrestling. While he is still capable of taking people down, his explosiveness that resembled that of Josh Koscheck and St. Pierre, has vanished. After losing to Frank Shamrock due to gassing out in the 4th round, Tito would become known to never tire again. However we did not see that out of him in his last couple of fights. In his rematch against Griffin, he stood there like a brick in round 3. In the rematch against Evans, he did not move in the beginning of round 2. Tito's striking, at best, has always been mediocre. Lil Nog is a great BJJ artist and has won many boxing championships in Brazil. He is looking to rebound from two straight defeats from Ryan Bader and Phil Davis. Both men are powerhouse wrestlers which has always been his weakness. In a fight of the year performance back in Pride when he took on Shogun, he was taken down multiple times and lost a hard fought decision. In the Phil Davis fight, he actually seemed to defend the double leg continuously throughout the fight. Until Davis found that a single he could not defend, and from the point on, the take downs were nonstop whenever one was attempted. However since Tito Ortiz is no longer on that level of wrestling, he will lose this fight in a hard fought decision. Look for him to due well in the early round and to drop the next two due to a draining gas tank and sub par wrestling.

Mark Hominick vs. Chan Jung Sung
Mark Hominick vs. Chan Jung Sung is an interesting match up because Mark Hominick was at the top of his game coming off a gutsy performance against Jose Aldo in the bid for a title. In the process he racked up four straight wins, showcasing an ever improving ground game and as always, top level kick boxing, knocking out George Roop and Yves Jabouin. His striking is going to be the key to victory. He needs to set up leg strikes and punches to catch the Korean Zombie off track and score a knockout much like George Roop did in his encounter. Throughout his career it seems that he struggles with good grapplers though he lost tough battles to Hatsu Hioki, Rani Yahya, and Mike Brown. Chang Jung Sung is a great grappler and can hang with the best of them as long as he remembers that he is a grappler. Look for some intense moments where both men will be in trouble and Chan Jung "The Korean Zombie" Sung winning a close decision.

Brian Ebersole vs. Claude Patrick

Brian Ebersole is a journeymen with 60 pro MMA fights before he made his debut in the UFC.  He dominated Chris Lytle and then went on to knockout Dennis "Superman" Hallman. His strengths though is his striking, something that he invites fighters to try against him. Much like how Donald Cerrone does a little of everything, so does Ebersole, who will go for submissions and takedowns should they appear. His only weakness right now is his takedown defense because in the early minutes of his fight with Hallman, he was being outclassed in the grappling and ground game. Claude Patrick is a great wrestler and submission artist already, going 2-0 against Ultimate Fighter winner James Wilks and talented submission artist Daniel Roberts. This fight will be no different then the rest as he will take down and grind out Ebersole for 3 straight rounds and secure a fight ending submission late into the third to keep his octagon record perfect at 3-0

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